New box-office champion ‘Creed III’ scores biggest opening of the franchise

A shirtless man squaring up in red shorts and boxing gloves under stadium lights.
Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in “Creed III.”
(Eli Ade / MGM)

MGM’s “Creed III” is the new heavyweight champion at the domestic box office, knocking out Disney and Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” this weekend with $58.7 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

MGM reports that the latest installment in the “Creed” franchise has scored the biggest domestic opening of all time for a sports movie, surpassing 2015’s “Creed” ($29.6 million), 2018’s “Creed II” ($35.6 million), all of the “Rocky” films and the previous record holder, 2010’s “Karate Kid” ($55.7 million).

“For many franchises, the law of diminishing returns applies,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said in a statement, “but ‘Creed’ is a welcome exception and the continued interest and excitement that moviegoers have for this character and these films that are generational and spiritual successors to the ‘Rocky’ brand, one that started almost 50 years ago, is quite remarkable.”

Returning as Adonis Creed, the star makes a solid directing debut while championing Jonathan Majors’ heavyweight performance in the latest chapter of the boxing saga that began with ‘Rocky.’


Directed by Michael B. Jordan, “Creed III” stars Jordan and Jonathan Majors as childhood friends-turned-boxing foes. (Majors, who also plays the villain in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” appears in both the No. 1 and No. 2 titles at the domestic box office this weekend.)

Among the main cast of Jordan’s feature directorial debut are Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu and Phylicia Rashad. The boxing drama received a stellar 87% fresh rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and an A-minus from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

In her Los Angeles Times review of “Creed III,” film critic Katie Walsh hailed the highly anticipated sequel as “a solid first feature with a knockout performance” from Majors.

Michael B. Jordan, director and star of ‘Creed III,’ gets a star on Walk of Fame and props from co-star Jonathan Majors and filmmaker Ryan Coogler.

“Jordan’s steady direction elevates the material, keeping a strong hand on the tone and emotional tenor,” Walsh writes.

“But what Jordan does best as star, director and producer is showcase Majors’ heavyweight performance, cementing him as one of our brightest stars. Taking over a behind-the-scenes role is a part of the ‘Rocky’ legacy, and Jordan takes the reins with ease, championing Majors and heralding an exciting new chapter of his career, beyond ‘Creed.’”

Rounding out the top five at the domestic box office this weekend are “Ant-Man,” which picked up $12.5 million in its third weekend for a North American cumulative of $186.8 million; Universal Pictures’ “Cocaine Bear,” which devoured $11 million in its sophomore weekend for a North American haul of $41.3 million; Crunchyroll Studios’ “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba — to the Swordsmith Village,” which launched at $10.1 million; and Lionsgate’s “Jesus Revolution,” which added $8.7 million in its second weekend for a North American cumulative of $30.5 million.

Opening in wide release this next weekend are Sony Pictures’ “65,” Focus Features’ “Champions” and Paramount Pictures’ “Scream VI.”