The ninth film in the Rocky franchise grossed more than $100 million in its opening weekend—setting a record for the highest domestic opening weekend for a sports film.
- Creed III, the sequel to 2015’s critically acclaimed legacy sequel to Rocky, opened in theaters on Thursday, March 2.
- It grossed $58.6 million domestically and $41.8 million globally in its opening weekend.
- The film has been greeted with a positive critical reception of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a surprisingly diverse audience turnout, according to PostTrak. Of the 62% male audience, 39% of viewers were Latino, 29% white, 20% Asian, and 14% black.
- The film also marks the directorial debut of Creed and Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan, who also starred in the film.
Why It’s News
The financial success of the film marks a significant victory for MGM, which is owned by Amazon. As we previously reported, Amazon is beginning to invest more in theatrical releases as significant box office returns are becoming a safer bet than streaming distribution. The company purchased MGM for $8.5 billion last year.
Creed and Creed II were theatrical releases, so a third theatrical release does not mark a change in marketing strategy, as Amazon could have chosen to release the film in a limited theatrical run before exclusively hosting it on Amazon Prime Video. However, a significant $100 million success will be emboldening for the company’s other planned theatrical releases, such as Ben Affleck’s Michael Jordan biopic Air. It is set for release on April 5.
“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. Everything went right here starting with the movie itself,” MGM Head of Distribution Erik Lomis tells The Associated Press.
“Amazon threw their weight behind this movie like only they can do. They supercharged the campaign with marketing support across all their verticals on the platform and beyond the platform. That shows a commitment to the theatrical business model from Amazon and MGM, which I think should be exciting to everybody,” he continues.