MGM Delivering Record Opening For Amazon With ‘Creed III’ Set To KO $51M+ – Saturday Box Office

SATURDAY UPDATE after Friday PM update: Refresh for updates and chart Amazon, as it re-embraces theatrical with its acquisition of MGM, will easily see the company’s biggest box office opening ever with Creed III, which is headed to a franchise record start of $51.1 million after a great $22M Friday (including $5.45M in previews). Creed III‘s opening day alone is bigger than any previous box office weekend for an Amazon title.

For the most part, previous Amazon theatrical releases (of yore, not the current day-and-date Amazon Prime or truncated window titles) saw platform rollouts, sometimes through distribution partners like STX, Lionsgate or Roadside Attractions.

A previous wide notable weekend for an Amazon title was the fourth-weekend wide break of The Big Sick with $7.56M (in 2,597 theaters). Lionsgate handled that movie in 2017.

Creed III bests the three-day totals of Creed ($29.6M) and Creed II ($35.5M), both which had five-day launches over their respective Thanksgiving weekend openings.

RELATED: ‘Creed III’ Review: Highly Predictable Film Still Entertaining Thanks To Jonathan Majors’ Acting & Michael B. Jordan’s Directing

The RT audience score for the Michael B. Jordan-directed and -starring threequel, which also headlines Jonathan Majors and Tessa Thompson, is still high at 96% fresh and last night it received an A- CinemAscore to the previous installment’s As. Audience exits on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak were at a great 92% positive and very strong 80% recommend pulling in 36% Black audiences, 28% Latino and Hispanic, 23% Caucasian, and 13% Asian/other. Creed III overperformed in the East and the South, however, was strong throughout the country. Moviegoer make-up was 63% guys, 55% between 18-34 and 29% between 35-54. Creed III was 65% under 35 which is very similar to Creed II‘s 66% turnout for that crowd. PostTrak shows that 40% came for the cast as a whole while 43% showed up as they love the Rocky spinoff franchise.

Estimates below are from Friday PM, we’re awaiting Saturday AM updates

The third weekend of Disney/Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at 3,825 theaters is seeing a third estimated Friday of $3.5M and a 3-day total of $13.3M, which will get it to $187.6M.

Universal’s second weekend of Cocaine Bear at 3,571 posted a Friday of $3.1M (-64% from last Friday), for what’s shaping up to be a three-day total of $10.6M, -54%, for a running total of $40.8M by EOD Sunday.

Crunchyroll’s Demon Slayer Into the Swordsmith Village at 1,780 theaters grossed $4.1M yesterday, very close to what we were seeing, sans Thursday previews for what is looking like $10M over Friday-Sunday. Demon Slayer fans were harder on this film both with their wallets and reactions. The last Demon Slayer, the movie Mugen Train, was a bright spot at the pandemic box office, giving New Line’s Mortal Kombat a run for its money with a near No. 1 opening take of $21.2M. Swordsmith Village which features episodes 10 and 11 from the series’ Entertainment District Arc as well as the extended Episode 1 of the highly anticipated Swordsmith Village Arc, all of which will be combined into one feature-length cinematic experience remastered in 4K. Fans gave it a B+ CinemaScore and 74% positive on PostTrak, 61% recommend. 66% guys showed up, 79% of the overall audience was between 18-34 with 40% Latino and Hispanic, 26% Caucasian, 15% Black and 9% Asian/other. Best regions for Demon Slayer were the West & Southwest where nine of the top ten theaters were.

Fifth is Lionsgate’s second weekend of Jesus Revolution at 2,575 theaters, seeing a second Friday of $2M (-71%) and a three-day total of $6.55M (-59%) for a running cume by Sunday of $28.44M.

Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre

Lionsgate’s distribution deal for Miramax’s Guy Ritchie movie Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre at 2,168 (which was dated two weeks ago) is seeing $1M today, including previews, for a $2.5M-$3M weekend. The pic is on a 17-day window, and the hope for the distributor is that theatrical will set the table for home entertainment. Again, the whole last minute release here stem from the film becoming available to Lionsgate after the title was tangled up with the banks in an STX restructuring; Miramax finally got it freed up. Miramax had to go quick with the movie stateside as the title already released overseas having made $41.4M with the pic arriving in the home already abroad. This was the one place on the calendar which worked for Lionsgate, keeping it away from March 24’s John Wick: Chapter 4, Ritchie’s other movie The Covenant on April 20 and Jason Statham’s Meg 2 on Aug. 4. It’s not the worst movie in the world earning a B+ CinemaScore, same grade as Ritchie’s The Gentlemen and not far from the A- the filmmaker nabbed for Wrath of Man. Critics aren’t wowed at 52% Rotten, but audiences are at 91% for the action pic toplined by Jason Statham, Hugh Grant, Cary Elwes, Josh Hartnett and Aubrey Plaza. Who doesn’t want to see Statham and Plaza go at it? The low result here has largely to do with the last minute of it all. Lionsgate is getting a fee on this $50M production which was largely funded through foreign sales.

RELATED: ‘Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre’ Review: Jason Statham Vs Hugh Grant In Guy Ritchie’s Stylish And Fun Spy Caper

FRIDAY AM: The Michael B. Jordan-directed Creed III drew $5.45M from Wednesday and Thursday night previews. The threequel is expected to do $38M-$40M at 4,007 theaters, which would rep a thre-day opening record for the Rocky spinoff franchise.

I’m hearing that 74% of that preview number for Creed III came from Thursday showtimes that began 7 p.m. Wednesday previews were from Imax and PLF showtimes only.

This easily beats the $3.6M previews for Creed II and the $1.4M from Creed, both of which were Tuesday previews before those pics’ Thanksgiving runs. Other comps being used for Creed III are last year’s Nope ($6.4M in previews, $44.3M opening) and Uncharted ($3.7M previews, $44M opening).

The movie is hot with audiences out of the gate at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Reviews have settled to 87% certified fresh, higher than Creed II‘s 83% but lower than the first installment’s 95% certified fresh.

The MGM title reps a big return to the big screen for streamer Amazon, with wide releases after a largely theatrical day-and-date business strategy with its Prime Video service.

Also opening this weekend is Lionsgate/Miramax’s Guy Ritchie action film Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre in 2,168 theaters, expected to do in the single digits (read the review). Thursday made $220K. Previous Ritchie previews for his action pics were Wrath of Man ($500K, $8.3M opening in 2021) and pre-pandemic 2020’s The Gentlemen ($725K, $10.6M opening). There’s also Crunchyroll’s cinema experience Demon Slayer Into the Swordsmith Village at 1,722 theaters, which has no Imax and PLFs because they belong to Creed III this weekend.  

Universal’s Cocaine Bear won Thursday with an estimated $1.48M (-5% from Wednesday) at 3,534 theaters and a $30.2M first week (read the review). Disney/Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at 4,345 theaters saw $1.4M (-8%) yesterday, a second week of $39.1M and running total of $174.2M (read the review). Lionsgate’s Jesus Revolution at 2,475 theaters made an estimated $1.3M (+2%) and $21.8M first week (read the review). 20th/Disney/Lightstorm’s Avatar: The Way of Water at 2,495 made $361K yesterday, +2%, an 11th week of $6.3M and running total of $667M (read the review). Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Oscar nominated Puss in Boots: The Last Wish booked at 2,840 locations saw an estimated $235K Thursday, +2%, and 10th week of $5.1M and running total of $174.4M. As we already told you, that domestic total is higher than Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2 last holiday season ($162.7M) and original Puss in Boots ($149.2M in 2011).

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