Michael B. Jordan’s “Creed III” Delivers Box Office Knockout With Franchise Best Debut
Michael B. Jordan’s critically acclaimed directorial debut can now add a record-making opening weekend to its list of accolades. Jordan’s Creed III delivered a knockout debut, bringing in $58.7 million, a franchise record, knocking Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania off its perch as the weekend’s top-grossing film. At the global box office, Creed III became the first sports movie in film history to pass $100 million in its opening weekend. Not a bad debut for Mr. Jordan.
Incidentally, Creed III features Jonathan Majors as Damian Anderson, Adonis Creed (Jordan)’s toughest opponent yet, and Majors also stars as the villain Kang the Conqueror in Quantumania. The man is a star, is the point, and was battling himself for box office supremacy.
The first post-Rocky Creed film dropped in 2015 to rave reviews and earned $29.6 million in its opening weekend, while the 2018 sequel Creed II opened with $35.5 million. So Jordan’s Creed III didn’t just best those previous films but practically doubled the original film.
Jordan took the helm for the third film and sensibly brought back some of the key stars from the Creed franchise, most notably Tessa Thompson as Bianca Creed and Phylicia Rashad as his mother, Mary-Anne Creed. The biggest missing piece in Creed III was, of course, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), but the addition of Majors, one of the fastest-rising stars in Hollywood, more than made up for the loss. Majors plays bruiser Damian Anderson, a man with a long, once-happy connection to Adonis Creed (Jordan) dating back to when they were childhood friends. That happy connection turned massively sour, however, after a seminal night that saw them breaking off in two separate directions. Anderson went to jail for 18 years, while Adonis became a superstar boxer. In Creed III, Anderson comes looking for payback with a massive, championship belt-sized chip on his shoulder.
The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody wrote that “Jordan, as director, delivers a captivating blend of explosive energy and melodramatic intensity; he sharpens the stark lines of conflict with keen attention to performance… and a controlled, storm-like feeling of moods building to crises.”
Clearly, audiences were eager to see two big stars, Jordan and Majors, not only share the screen together but step into the ring against one another. The strong reviews, including an A- CinemaScore and an 87% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (with a 96% fresh Audience Score), helped bolster interest. In the end, Creed III delivered a delicious cinematic uppercut that audiences were more than happy to step right into.
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Featured image: Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed in CREED III. A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved. CREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.