‘Creed’ a huge hit in Philadelphia, and with black and Latino audiences
Philadelphia serves much like a fourth character in the “Rocky” spinoff “Creed,” which premiered over the Thanksgiving weekend. Authentically captured by director Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) and Tessa Thompson, who plays a local singer-songwriter, the city helps breathe new life into a story many have come to cherish. And the city that’s been the backdrop of the franchise since it first debuted in 1976 appropriately responded, over-indexing by 72%.
“We did very well everywhere, but especially so in Philadelphia,” said Jeff Goldstein of Warner Bros., the studio distributing the film.
Of the top five best-performing locations, two of the theaters are from the Philadelphia area -- AMC Cherry Hill 24 (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and AMC Neshaminy 24 (Bensalem, Pa.). A third location, Regal Riverview Plaza, landed in the top 10 as well, at No. 9.
The MGM- and New Line Cinema-financed “Creed” rounded out the weekend’s box office top three with an estimated $42.6 million in the U.S. and Canada, beating its $35-million projection. It also broke an industry record for Tuesday preshows for Thanksgiving weekend, with $1.4 million.
“Here you have a young director who had a passion for this project,” Goldstein said. “He inspired Michael B. Jordan to give an incredible performance and really captured what Sly is all about.”
Critics and audiences alike are raving about Jordan’s performance as Adonis Creed, son of Rocky Balboa opponent-turned-friend Apollo Creed. Sylvester Stallone returns in the role of Balboa, while Thompson plays young Creed’s girlfriend, Bianca.
Audiences gave the first film in the MGM boxing franchise since 2006 an A grade on CinemaScore, while Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a 93% positive rating. It indexed well with an audience that was mostly male (66%) and over age 25 (62%). The film also did particularly well among African Americans and Latinos.
“There’s no question [that black audiences] supported the film the most, as did Hispanic communities, where boxing films tend to do well,” Goldstein said.
Other high-performing cities included Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas and Washington, D.C. The full top 10 list of the best-performing theaters is below:
Empire 25 with IMAX & Dolby @ Prime (New York)
Showplace Icon with IconX (Chicago)
Cherry Hill 24 with IMAX (Cherry Hill, N.J.)
Neshaminy 24 with IMAX (Bensalem, Pa.)
Atlantic Station Stadium 18 & IMAX & RPX (Atlanta)
Gulf Pointe 30 with IMAX (Houston)
Farmingdale 14 (Farmingdale, N.Y.)
Clifton Commons 16 with IMAX (Clifton, N.J.)
Riverview Plaza Stadium 17 IMAX & RPX (Philadelphia)
Hoffman 22 with IMAX (Alexandria, Va.)
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