By Chris Kavan - 12/23/20 at 12:02 PM CT
For the first time in nine weeks, Universal Pictures did not have the top film at the box office - but it wasn't by much. After suffering a big controversy at China's Box office, Monster Hunter made its U.S. debut and did come out on top - but the $2.2 million opening isn't exactly a ringing endorsement for Paul W.S. Anderson's video game adaptation. The Croods: A New Age was right on its tail with $2 million - despite also being available on PVOD at the same time. That $2.2 million represents the lowest opening for a wide-release debut at anytime over the last 40 years - and represents just what dire straits the theater industry finds itself in during the ongoing Covid pandemic. The other new wide release, the revenge thriller Fatale with Hilary Swank and Michael Ealy landed in third with $918,000.
On the international front, Wonder Woman: 1984 had its debut ahead of its US/streaming opening where it $38.5 million ($18.8 million in China), which is down a considerable 48% compared to the original Wonder Woman. That is a soft opening across the board, but the biggest question still remains how it will do on the domestic front as it debuts in theaters and on HBO Max - and could very well be a bellweather for the entire 2021 movie season.
But, hey, we have ratings too! Well, at least one big film to talk about - Raya and the Last Dragon which, like Wonder Woman: 1984 is going to be released in theaters and Disney+ streaming at the same time. But it's Pixar so I'm still looking forward to it.
Even when Pixar stumbles a bit, they are still at the top of the animation list. But even the animation giant is not immune to the Covid era and with Soul going direct to streaming, at least Raya and the Last Dragon will be getting a theatrical release - even if it will debut on Disney+ at the same time. Taking place in an alternate Earth known as Lumandra, an ancient civilization has long-thrived but is threatened with an ancient evil returns. Seeing no other choice the warrior Raya (voiced by Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran) sets off on a journey to track down the last dragon Sisu (voiced by Awkwafina) in order to join forces and stop the threat. This has all the markings of the classic hero's journey - but like all PIxar films, looks absolutely gorgeous. At this time, it has a March 2021 release date, but things are always shifting so we'll see if that sticks because, like Soul, I can see this easily going streaming only in a pinch. Rated PG for some violence, action and thematic elements.
There is the big film for the week but there is plenty more to check out in the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
COLORS OF LOVE
DARA OF JASENOVAC
Rated R for strong and disturbing violent content, and some sexual content.
Rated R for language throughout including offensive slurs, crude sexual references, brief sexuality and nudity.
FAR FROM THE TREE
FREAK POWER: THE BALLOT OR THE BOMB
Rated R for language, some graphic nudity, drug use, violent images and smoking.
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language/sexual reference, and some thematic elements.
Rated R for pervasive language.
Rated R for language throughout and some drug material.
ME YOU MADNESS
Rated R for language throughout, some violence, sexual content, brief drug use and nudity.
Rated R for violence including some disturbing material, language throughout and some sexual references.
Rated R for violence, language, drug content and some sexual references.
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON
Rated PG for some violence, action and thematic elements.
Rated R for pervasive language, and drug content.