MGM’s ‘Creed Lii’ Debuts To Knockout $59m In North America As Amazon Ramps Up Theatrical Runway


UAR/MGM’s Creed III opened top in North America on a confirmed $58.5m in a one-two punch that scored a franchise best for the Rocky spin-off series and bodes well for the ambitious theatrical plans of parent company Amazon Studios.

Michael B. Jordan’s feature directorial debut punched way above its weight at the box office, earning more than the $36m-$40m forecast range heading into the weekend.

Jordan stars opposite Jonathan Majors in the boxing drama and could not have wished for a better result as his film dethroned Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania and shunted the Disney/Marvel tentpole (which also stars Majors) into second place.

Cinema owners will also be thrilled with the result as they look to complement their staple diet of tentpole franchise offerings with dramas and other genres that can bring back a wider audience in the wake of the pandemic.

That said, ComScore reported that ticket sales are ahead of the same point last year by more than 35% and there is heavy anticipation among exhibitors for a string of familiar names on this month’s release roster: John Wick: Chapter 4Scream VI, and Shazam: Fury Of The Gods.

Creed III opened well ahead of its franchise predecessors. Creed debuted on $29.6m in 2015 while 2018 follow-up Creed II delivered $35.6m in its first weeked. Both produced strong bows and finished on $109.8m and $115.7m, respectively. The latest entry should have no trouble topping those final grosses.

Creed III also delivered the highest debut for a sports film, trumping previous record holder The Karate Kid’s $55.6m debut in 2010 in unadjusted terms.

The film’s performance, coming 10 months after Amazon closed its $8.5bn acquisition of MGM, arrives at the right time for Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke. The company has pledged to spend $1bn a year on theatrical releases, which is a unique commitment among streamer-led entertainment companies that provide theatrical uplift but to date have not formalised theatrical distribution in this way.

Salke has said the company will assess the theatrical merits of each title and last week announced she had hired Warner Bros veteran Courteney Valenti to oversee film, streaming and theatrical. The company releases Ben Affleck’s Nike drama Air theatrically on April 5. 

Quantumania ranked second and added $12.5m for $186.8m after three weekends. Universal’s Cocaine Bear directed by Elizabeth Banks slipped one place to third on $11m for $41.3m after two sessions.

Crunchyroll debuted Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To The Swordsmith Village in fourth place on $10.1m, while Lionsgate’s Jesus Revolution placed fifth after sliding two places on $8.7m for $30.5m after two weekends.

Source : Screendaily