Creed III is expected to pull in $51 million, marking a franchise best opening weekend.
Creed III is looking to come in above expectations with a franchise best $51 million opening, about $11 million more than where tracking and my prediction had it, which can be attributed to the healthy $5.5 million the film took in on Thursday night previews. That number would put it $22 million above where the original Creed opened and about $16 million more than Creed II’s opening. The film has received pretty solid reviews (including a 9/10 from our own JimmyO) and currently sits at a strong 96% audience score.
One thing I have noticed in reading some reactions on the internet is that people, even though they enjoyed the movie, have taken issue with the fact that Rocky Balboa seems to be all but forgotten in this latest adventure. I have to say, I fully agree. Even though I was glued to the screen, as it really is a very well crafted film, it felt almost not true to the character of Adonis Creed and all he has gone through in the first two movies, to not even just throw in one line of dialog about present day Rocky. A one sided phone conversation, a line saying Rocky is back in Philly, something. It is blatantly obvious that Stallone and the producers of the film (namely Irwin Winkler) have massive issues with each other and that sadly kept Sly from appearing in the film (although he does still receive a Producers credit) but a simple line of dialog referencing present day Rocky would have been all the connective tissue I wanted. It is still a tremendous movie and Jonathan Majors has emerged as a truly remarkable talent (if you haven’t seen The Last Black Man in San Francisco do yourself a favor and check it out, it is where I first saw Majors and it is a genuinely amazing film).
Coming in second place looks to be Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania with an estimated $13.3 million which is actually on par with the other Ant-Man films as the original saw a $12.8 million third weekend and its sequel saw a $16.5 million third weekend. Around the world, the film is actually doing some solid business with a running total of $370.4 million as of this writing. With a reported $200 million budget this film probably needs at least $500 million to even scratch at its break even point, with home video and streaming on the horizon, it should be able to hit that number.
Third place looks to be Cocaine Bear with what looks to be an over 50% decline and a projected weekend of $10.8 million. I actually thought this movie would have a better hold earlier in the week, but this one appears to have been a bit front loaded. Cocaine Bear won’t be a new $100 million R rated classic, but with a smallish budget in the mid $30 million range, this one should be able to finish its run with a little over double its budget and that’s not too shabby!
Fourth and fifth place look to see your targeted demographics hitting theaters with the Crunchyroll Studios release of Demon Slayer into the Swordsmith Village with an estimated weekend take projected to be around $10.7 million and the faith based Jesus Revolution with an estimated $6.5 million.
Finishing out of the top five, but worth your money is the Jason Statham/ Guy Ritchie collaboration Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre with an estimated $3 million weekend. The film, which was just dated a few weeks back when Lionsgate took over domestic distribution, has received middle of the road reviews, including a 5/10 from our own Chris Bumbray, but has a solid 90% audience score. In this case, Chris Bumbray is the critic and I am the audience as I must say I genuinely loved this movie! It was an old school caper movie with big explosions while also featuring that crisp dry British humor we have come to expect from a Guy Ritchie film. It features another great character driven performance by Hugh Grant along with a great return to the big screen performance from Josh Hartnett and Cary Elwes with Aubrey Plaza continuing to be endlessly watchable as she takes on vastly different roles than we would expect from her. I must admit though, I am a Jason Stratham fan boy as I don’t think there has been a film he has made that I didn’t genuinely enjoy.
Have you had a chance to get to the theaters yet this weekend? If so, let us know what you saw in the comments section and don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we have a full run down on this weekends box office numbers.