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Creed III Is A Box Office Knockout

"Creed III" didn't pull any punches during its opening week. 

Following in the steps of "Rocky" steward Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan braced the director's chair for Creed's third outing in the ring — a creative choice that clearly paid off. Deadline reports that the third entry in the "Creed" franchise — which first debuted in 2015 — brought home over $58 million during its opening weekend. Per The Numbers, this is nearly double the 2015 film's debut, and $23 million more than its 2018 sequel, which brought Ivan Drago {Dolph Lundgren) back into the mix. 

As far as debuts go for the boxing franchise, which includes both "Rocky" and "Creed," Jordan's threequel has the privilege of having the largest opening weekend, making franchise history. It also made strides by being the first sports film shot in IMAX. Premium large formats, which includes IMAX cinemas, were responsible for 35% of "Creed III's" domestic domination. Deadline suggests that "Creed III" will overtake "Creed" and "Creed II's" domestic totals. 

Will Jordan's directorial debut surpass the global gross of "Rocky IV," which rests at a cool $300 million? Only time will tell. Thanks to a CinemaScore of A- and positive critical reception (Looper gave the MGM film a positive 7/10), it's possible that the boxing-drama could push past $150 million domestically.

With "Creed III," the theatrical distribution model has never looked better. Audiences showed up in droves to support Jordan's directorial debut and Jonathan Majors' turn as Creed's sympathetic adversary. While the threequel will certainly defend itself at the box office, it faces worthy opponents in coming weeks, including "Scream VI," DC's "Shazam!" sequel, and the long-awaited fourth "John Wick" entry.

Jonathan Majors stole the box office thanks to Creed and Ant-Man

While "Creed III" was the heavyweight champion during March's first weekend at the box office, other films also walked away with wins. 

Coming in at second place was "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania." In its third weekend, the "Ant-Man" threequel raked in $12 million domestically, a 62% drop from last week. Marvel Studios' latest, which kicked off Phase 5, is definitely shrinking and will likely face difficulty in coming weeks as it attempts to cross the global $500 million mark. Its current domestic cume stands at $186 million. While Marvel may be disappointed, Jonathan Majors is laughing all the way to the bank. The actor, who stars as the nefarious Kang in the "Ant-Man" threequel, is the first actor in recent memory to boast two #1 films at the box office back-to-back. Majors' future continues to look bright, both in and out of Marvel.

Coming in third was Elizabeth Banks' horror-comedy "Cocaine Bear," which raked in a solid $10.6 million. Its domestic total stands at $40 million, making it another certified viral horror hit for Universal Pictures. Just behind the snow-snorting bear was "Demon Slayer...Swordvillage," which scooped up $10 million during its domestic debut. With just over 1,700 theaters to its name this weekend, "Demon Slayer" did in fact slay. The top five was rounded out with the faith-based "Jesus Revolution." With a second-week gross of $7.6 million, Lionsgate made out like a bandit. And, for good measure, "Avatar: The Way of Water" came in at sixth place, bringing home a cool $3.3 million during week #12 at the box office.