If a new report is to be believed, Creed 3 studio MGM is seemingly lying about the blockbuster's budget.
For the latest in the Rocky/Creed franchise, MCU star Michael B. Jordan took over directing duties from Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, starring and directing in the in-ring epic.
This time around, Jordan's Adonis Creed was pushed to the limit, as a long-forgotten friend in Jonathan Majors' Damian Anderson returns to take what he thinks he's owed.
Jordan and Majors are joined by a stellar cast of characters, with early reviews for the movie coming back largely positive, meaning MGM looks to have yet another heavyweight hit on its hands.
MGM's Creed 3 Lie
According to Puck's Matthew Belloni, MGM seems to have lied about Creed 3's budget.
Writing in his weekly newsletter, Belloni noted that the studio is listing Michael B. Jordan's directorial debut as having a $75 million budget when, in fact, he heard it could be closer to $90 million with the cost of reshoots accounted for.
Belloni joked that the film is "a hit," so, "it’s OK to be honest" about the numbers, MGM.
Creed 3 is coming off a strong opening weekend where it went 12 rounds and won the domestic box office battle. The boxing blockbuster raked in $58.7 million domestically and $41.8 million internationally.
This puts the film at $100.7 million worldwide, making it the biggest opening for a sports movie in the US.
Belloni noted that the Creed threequel's audience so far has been "a far cry from the old, white Rocky audience" with "more than half the audience [being] between 18-34, and three-quarters were non-white."
He also mentioned that nearly "40 percent of the gross came from IMAX and other large format theaters."
Why Would MGM Lie About Creed 3?
Some will look at this news from Matthew Belloni and think, "How and why would MGM lie about the budget of one of its films?"
Well, it is actually not all that uncommon. If a studio can make it seems like they saved a buck, then they will.
What is interesting is that they seem to continue to uphold this lie well after it has been confirmed Creed 3 is a smash hit. What does it matter if the studio spent $15 million more than was previously reported?
Creed dominated at the box office, making the threequel the biggest in franchise history. And with a couple of weeks before the likes of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, John Wick Chapter 4, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie hit theater screens, the movie will likely have legs, taking its box office success further into March.
Of course, when MGM (and every other studio in Hollywood) has a golden goose on its hands, it loves to make it look like everything was done as frugally as possible.
And when things go the other way, and a dud lands in theaters, the same practice of budget shrinking is done to make it look like it the damage is not that bad.
Ultimately, the movie business is about making a profit. So, if that can be done a little easier (at least public perception-wise), then it will be.
Creed 3 is playing in theaters now worldwide.