“Creed III” is stepping into the box office ring, and Michael B. Jordan’s latest movie has weighed in with $5.45 million in Thursday previews.
The third “Creed” film is looking to deliver a powerful blow to the weekend box office with an opening between $36 million to $40 million. It should be the highest opening weekend for the boxing franchise, after the original “Creed” debuted with $29.6 million in 2015 and “Creed II” launched with $35.5 million in 2018.
“Creed III” also landed the highest preview grosses of the series. The first movie, which opened on the Wednesday ahead of Thanksgiving in 2015, pulled $1.4 million in Tuesday previews. “Creed II” had a similar pre-Thanksgiving release in 2018 and made $3.7 million in Tuesday previews.
The latest movie pits Jordan’s professional boxer Adonis Creed, the son of Carl Weathers’ famous “Rocky” brawler Apollo Creed, against his childhood friend Damien, who conveniently is also a muscle-bound fighter, played by Jonathan Majors.
In addition to starring, Jordan stepped behind the camera for the first time in his career, after the first two “Creed” movies were directed by Ryan Coogler and Steven Caple Jr., respectively. The cast includes Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris and Florian Munteanu. After creating the “Rocky” franchise and starring in each of the previous “Creed” movies, Sylvester Stallone bowed out of appearing in “Creed III” but remains a producer.
It’ll be a showdown of threequels at the box office this weekend, with “Creed III” poised to knock out “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” The Marvel holdover is expected to generate between $16 million to $19 million in its third weekend of release.
“Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre,” a Lionsgate action movie starring Jason Statham, opened with $220,000 in Thursday previews. It’s expected to open in the mid-to-high single digit range.