More than a month after its U.S. debut, MGM’s boxing drama “Creed II” is set to step into the ring in China on Jan. 4. That marks the “Rocky” franchise’s debut in mainland theaters.
The sequel to 2015’s “Creed” has so far brought in about $134 million at the global box office since its U.S. debut on Nov. 21, but has yet to surpass its predecessor’s $173 million global box office total. With the power of the China market behind it, however, “Creed II” could be set to break the franchise’s record.
The “Rocky” films have previously been available in China via downstream media, but “‘Creed II’ brings one of the most iconic movie franchises to China cinema for the first time,” said MGM executive VP Jose Gutierrez.
Directed by Steven Caple, Jr., the film stars Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, who throw their punches once more as the determined champion Adonis Creed and his mentor Rocky Balboa. The original screenplay was co-written by Stallone and Juel Taylor, and follows the pair as they prepare for a big battle with the son of the man who killed Adonis’ father.
The first “Creed” film brought Stallone a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor, but the star has since suggested that “Creed II” will likely be his last round in the iconic role.
“Well, this is probably my last rodeo,” Stallone said in a video when shooting on the film wrapped, which he posted late last month on Instagram. He turned to Jordan to say: “Now you have to carry the mantle.”