A month filled with plenty of major studio content heading to theaters officially begins this weekend with tracking for the anticipated Creed III continuing to climb higher in the final days before release. This weekend’s analysis and forecast are below.
- MGM’s Creed III is generating strong online sentiment and pre-sales as momentum continues to build in the wake of the film’s effective ad push, positive splash effect from Jonathan Majors’ media presence synergy thanks to the recent Ant-Man sequel and, now, a very positive 91 percent Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score. The three-quel appears likely to set a new franchise-high three-day opening, currently owned by Creed II‘s $35.6 million over the 2018 Thanksgiving frame.
- Crunchyroll’s Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village is pulling strong interest from anime fans, the latest example of the studio’s ability to leverage the medium and its hardcore fans into consistent specialty success stories at cinemas. The universe of pre-sales, traditional, and independent tracking are well north of My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, which bowed to $6.2 million in October 2021.
- Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is holding its own with what limited lead time it was given and should at least attract the most loyal of the filmmaker’s fans this weekend.
- Holdover-wise, female- and (the few) family-driven pictures in the market shouldn’t be too heavily hit this weekend. Jesus Revolution, in particular, could post a solid retention rate even despite its breakout $15.9 million opening frame including a high share of Wednesday preview shows.
- Previous tracking analysis highlighted the absence of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in this third Creed entry as a factor that may result in some older fans not returning. That remains part of the overall expectation, though strong critical reception may alleviate some of the impact.
- Unlike the feature film, Mugen Train, this Demon Slayer franchise entry doesn’t have top-billing in theaters or a premium screen footprint as considerable competition is in play this time around.
- Speaking of competition, Creed III‘s direct opening and the fresh over-performance of Cocaine Bear among male audiences makes it an even tougher road for Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre given the short marketing window caused by various financial complications between STX and Lionsgate outside the context of the movie itself.
- As holdovers go, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will lose the vast majority of its premium screens (including IMAX) to Creed III this weekend, exacerbating what’s already proving to be a more front-loaded run than expected for the Marvel chapter.
- Likewise, Cocaine Bear‘s primary male audience will be hit on multiple fronts by the new releases this weekend.
Opening Weekend Range: $37 – 46 million
Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village
Opening Weekend Range: $8.5 – 12.5 million
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre
Opening Weekend Range: $3 – 6 million
Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections
Current projection ranges call for a 9 to 18 percent increase from last weekend’s $88.6 million top ten aggregate.
|Film||Studio||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, March 5||Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed)||3-Day % Change from Last Wknd|
|Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania||Disney & Marvel Studios||$14,100,000||$188,300,000||~3,800||-56%|
|Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village||Crunchyroll||$10,800,000||$10,800,000||~2,000||NEW|
|Cocaine Bear||Universal Pictures||$10,300,000||$40,300,000||~3,500||-56%|
|Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre||Lionsgate||$4,000,000||$4,000,000||2,150||NEW|
|Avatar: The Way of Water||Disney & 20th Century Studios||$3,200,000||$670,300,000||~2,300||-34%|
|Puss in Boots: The Last Wish||Universal Pictures & DreamWorks Animation||$3,000,000||$177,500,000||~2,600||-27%|
|Magic Mike’s Last Dance||Warner Bros. Pictures||$1,200,000||$25,300,000||~1,700||-58%|
|80 for Brady||Paramount Pictures||$1,100,000||$38,500,000||~1,600||-42%|
All forecasts are subject to revision/finalization before the first confirmation of opening previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.
Theater counts are either studio estimates OR unofficial projections if preceded by “~”.
The above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.