Michael B. Jordan's 'Creed III' Has Biggest Sports Film Domestic Opening Ever with Historic $58.6M

The film made $22 million on its opening day, March 3

US actor-director-producer Michael B. Jordan arrives for the Los Angeles premiere of Creed III at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, on February 27, 2023.
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty

Creed III had not only the biggest opening weekend of the three-movie series, but also made history as the biggest domestic opening for a sports film.

Michael B. Jordan's directorial debut grossed $58.6 million over the weekend, MGM shared, per The Hollywood Reporter, after grossing $22 million on its premiere date alone.

The film — which sees the return of original cast members Jordan, who plays titular character Adonis Creed, Phylicia Rashad (Mary Anne Creed), Tessa Thompson (Adonis' wife, Bianca) and Wood Harris (Adonis' trainer) — is the first of the Rocky franchise to not feature the boxer himself, Sylvester Stallone.

"That's a regretful situation because I know what it could have been," Stallone told The Hollywood Reporter in November. "It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would've taken it."

He further alluded to creative differences behind the scenes, telling the outlet, "I'm much more of a sentimentalist. I like my heroes getting beat up, but I just don't want them going into that dark space."

Creed III sees Adonis, Rocky's former mentee, forced to reconcile with his past as his childhood friend and boxing prodigy, Damian (Jonathan Majors) is freed from prison and returns ready to get back in the ring.

CREED III, Michael B. Jordan, 2023
Eli Ade/MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

For Jordan, 36, directing the third installment of the series was less daunting than he might have thought, as he reflected on stepping into the character's shoes for close to a decade.

"I finally got to this place in my career where I really wanted to tell a story, you know, and not just be in front of the camera, not just execute somebody else's vision," he said during a virtual Q&A in October. "And having a character that I've played twice before, you know it's been 7, 8 years living with this guy, so to be able to tell a story of where I believe Adonis is at."

Maturing also played a factor in his decision. He told reporters, "At 35 years old, I had a lot to say as a young man, as a young Black man, just my life experiences and how I could actually share that, share a piece of myself with the world through these characters and through this story."

CREED III, Michael B. Jordan, 2023
Eli Ade/MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

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While there's no confirmation on a fourth installment of Creed, the expansion of the Rocky franchise seems imminent.

In July 2022, reports came out that a Drago spinoff following the relationship between one of Rocky's opponents, Ivan Drago, and his son, Viktor Drago, who appeared in Creed 2, was in the works.

While Dolph Lundgren, who played Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, confirmed to THR in 2021 that there was "some talk" at MGM of a Drago spinoff, he was quick to retract it once Stallone expressed his "heartbreak" at being left out of the discussion.

In an Instagram post, Lundgren was quick to support his longtime friend, writing, "Just to set the record straight regarding a possible Drago spinoff. There's no approved script, no deals in place, no director and I was personally under the impression that my friend Sly Stallone was involved as a producer or even as an actor."

He went on to assure fans that all was well between him and Stallone: "There was a press leak last week which was unfortunate. In touch with Mr Balboa - just so all the fans can relax… There ya go."

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