Creed III won big at the box office, setting a new opening weekend record for the franchise.
The film shattered expectations with an estimated 3-day opening of $58.6 million, according to Comscore. The sports drama played in 4007 theaters across the U.S. and Canada, ringing up an impressive $14,639 per screen average.
Going into the weekend, analysts expected Creed III to open in the $30-million range, but moviegoers had other ideas.
“This is beyond all of our expectations. And we knew that we had something special — we tested the movie and it tested great, but the public responded so resoundingly to it,” Erik Lomis, MGM’s head of distribution, said in a statement.
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The film, which marks Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, stars Jordan alongside Jonathan Majors as childhood friends who settle old scores in the ring.
The cast also includes Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, and Mila Davis-Kent.
In comparison to Creed III‘s debut, Creed opened in 2015 with a three-day total of $29.6 million. Creed II debuted in 2018, with a weekend opening of $35.5 million.
This latest installment is the only entry in the Rocky/Creed family not to feature Sylvester Stallone, who opted out of Creed III over creative differences.
Strong reviews helped boost the new film’s fortunes.
It has an A- CinemaScore with audiences, and an 87 percent score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Positive word of mouth likely drew more moviegoers.
Elsewhere at the weekend box office, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — which also co-stars Jonathan Majors — slipped to second place with $12.4 million in its third week in theaters.
Cocaine Bear was third, after bringing in $11 million in its second weekend.
The anime film Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba — To the Swordsmith Village opened in fourth place with $10.1 million, followed by Jesus Revolution, which earned $8.6 million in its second week.