UPDATED, Friday PM: 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 $45.5 million after a $20M 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.
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. 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.
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 is seeing a second Friday of $3.2M (-63% from last Friday), and a three-day total of $10.8M, -54%, for a running total of $41M by EOD Sunday.
Fourth belongs to Crunchyroll’s Demon Slayer Into the Swordsmith Village at 1,780 theaters. It is looking at $4.2M without any previews included today and $10.75M over Friday-Saturday.
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.
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. Critics aren’t wowed at 53% Rotten, but audiences are at 100% for the action pic toplined by Jason Statham, Hugh Grant, Cary Elwes, Josh Hartnett and Aubrey Plaza.
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).