In the Heights, Shorcut and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 09/23/20 at 11:15 AM CT

As I wasn't feeling ups for a full write-up this weekend for the box office, a mini update for you:

Tenet still came out on top, though it dropped to just $4.7 million for a new $36.1 million. It did pass a major milestone as it crossed $250 million worldwide. It will probably not be enough to actually cross profitability but, hey, Christopher Nolan certainly tried.

While numbers aren't official yet, Mulan has been a big hit for Disney+ - the same can't be said for China, where is crashed spectacularly in its second weekend, dropping 72%. Speaking of China, The Eight Hundred has earned $425.6 million, passing Bad Boys for Life as the biggest film of 2020 - the first time a non-Hollywood film has taken that honor.

The new film, Infidel, landed in third place with $1.5 million, just behind New Mutants at $1.6 million ($17.7 million domestic - $35 million worldwide).

What this shows is that a rough fall isn't going to get any better but, hey, one of the new ratings this week is a new wide release for September - but I'm guessing a no-budget horror film isn't going to save the day. We also have a pre-Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda musical with In the Heights - which has been delayed, but should brighten plenty of days when it is finally released.

MPAA Official Logo

Musicals may have limited appeal, but I can't help but think In the Heights will have a wider appeal than a typical genre film. For one, it has Lin-Manuel Miranda - who wrote the original play with Quiara Alegría Hudes (who provided the screenplay for this adaptation), who you probably know from another little musical by the name of Hamilton. The story follows bodega owner Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos) who comes into a windfall after inheriting his late grandmother's fortune. He must decide whether to sell the store and retire in the Dominican Republic or stay in his colorful neighborhood and keep the friends around him. This includes potential love interest Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) who works at the local salon run by Daniela (Daphne Rubin-Vega). A secondary story follows Nina Rosario (Leslie Grace), who made it out of the barrio into college but must figure out how to break it to her parents she has dropped out. Her strict father, Kevin Rosario (Jimmy Smits) butts heads with her, especially over her relationship with Benny (Corey Hawkins). This adaptation also stars Stephanie Beatriz, Marc Anthony, Olga Merediz, Susan Pourfar and Dascha Polanco. Though this has been delayed well into 2021, the film is vibrant - in setting, characters and music and that should be enough to drive in a decent audience, provided things get back to normal anytime soon. Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive references.

Until a few days ago there were going to be no new wide release films in September, but someone saw an opportunity so now indie horror pic Shortcut is going to have a chance at the box office. The story is simple - a group of student are trapped on a bus while some evil entity outside brings them close to death with every passing minute. There are no big names here - our main cast of characters includes Jack Kane, Andrei Claude, Zak Sutcliffe, ophie Jane Oliver and Zander Emlano along with Terence Anderson and David Keyes. The plot is not exactly ground-breaking - people trapped somewhere (a house, a car, a raft on the middle of a lake) by something evil is a trope on its own. But, hey, horror has managed to thrive during this pandemic, maybe this indie gem can make its own mark. Rated R for language throughout and some bloody images.

There are the two main entries for the week, but you can check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:


Rated R for graphic and disturbing violent content involving mass shooting, and some language.


Rated R for strong/bloody violence throughout, a rape, pervasive language, sexual content, brief drug use and nudity.


Rated R for pervasive strong language and crude sexual references, violence and some nudity.


Rated PG for some suggestive comments.


Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive references.


Rated R for language and brief sexuality.


Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence.


Rated PG for some thematic elements.


Rated R for language throughout and some bloody images.


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