By Chris Kavan - 01/06/21 at 10:25 AM CT
Welcome to the new year! Because the ratings board took a week off for the holidays, there is a lot to catch up on. The biggest box office news, of course, is Wonderwoman 1984, which debuted with a Covid-era best $16.7 million, topping Tenet ($9.4 million) by a comfortable margin. Of course that opening is a far cry from the $103.3 million the original Wonder Woman opened with - but with everything going on, you can't complain much. Helped in part by private screenings (where the entire theater is rented by one group) to the tune of $2 million (or roughly 12% of its opening grosses), it seems like Christmas came early for Warner Bros. and their HBO Max streaming deal... but wait. That one bit of good news comes with some hefty post-opening baggage: whether it was withering Twitter responses, a disappointing opening in China or its hefty second-week drop (67%), things aren't all sunshine and lollipops.
The film has posted $118.5 million worldwide in two weeks - $90 million international (with just $25 million coming from China) and $28.5 million domestic. While those numbers aren't bad - the film still cost a reported $200 million and as of now it's too early to tell whether the HBO Max numbers will make enough of a difference (though many point out it certainly led to rise in piracy). Plus, there's no way it's going to get anywhere near the $822 million global total of the first film. Early 2021 is a dead zone for new releases, so we'll see how Wonder Woman 1984 continues to perform and if this experiment ultimately pans out or fizzles out.
Aside from Wonder Woman 1984, the Tom Hanks western-leaning drama News of the World also debuted, where it took in $2.25 million opening weekend and $5.4 million since opening. The family-friendly Croods sequel also did well, despite being available on PVOD, and is fast approaching $35 million domestic with a $34.5 million total after the holiday frame. Looking at the schedule only two new wide releases will drop in all of January: another Liam Neeson action film, The Marksman (on the 15th) and a crime/drama with Denzel Washington, Jared Leto and Rami Malek The Little Things (on the 29th). It's wide open for Wonder Woman 1984, but we'll see if it can take advantage or falters down the stretch.
Onto the ratings bulletin finally! There are some big movies to talk about - one streaming, one coming to theaters (and streaming) and one that will eventually come to theaters (probably) some time in 2021.
From the files of "sequels most people thought we would never get" Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Garcelle Beauvais and James Earl Jones return - along with a bevy of new faces, for Coming 2 America. That's right one the eve of becoming King Akeem (Murphy) our Zamundan friend must return to Queens when he learns he has a son - one he must connect with and convince to return with him to cement his legacy. But, surprisingly Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) isn't exactly keen on going. Also reprising their roles for the sequel will be Shari Headley, John Amos, Louie Anderson and Vanessa Bell Calloway. Joining the case include Wesely Snipes, Tracy Morgan and Rick Ross (playing himself). Originally scheduled for streaming on Amazon in December, the film was bumped to March of this year. I'm still not sure what to think of a sequel at this point - the original was fun, but of a much different era. Still, it will be nice to see Murphy return to his roots - and he's bringing back all the characters, but hopefully the comedy remains as solid. Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language and drug content.
From a sequel to a prequel - for those itching for a Sopranos fix after all these years, The Many Saints of Newark with scratch that one for you. Set in the past, the film explores the formative years of one Tony Soprano and we find out what shaped the boy into the mob boss he was destined to become. The younger Tony is played by Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfiini who made Tony into such a memorable and well-regarded characters. It's a nice touch and the younger Gandolfini was a welcome edition to The Deuce, so I know he can hold his own. Other familiar characters from the show will also be portrayed: Silvio Dante will be played by John Magaro, Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri by Billy Magnussen and Richard 'Dickie' Moltisanti by Alessandro Nivola. The film also boasts some other major talent with the likes of Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Leslie Odom Jr., Ray Liotta, Corey Stoll, Joey Diaz and Nick Vallelonga all included in the lineup. While a lot is still being kept under wraps, this looks to be a fine addition to the Sopranos story and even if you aren't a fan of the show, the knockout cast is sure to provide lots of sparks. Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexual content and some nudity.
I'm only covering this last one because I really like James Wan. The director who has given us the most outrageous of Fast and Furious movies has also proved a deft hand at horror, with films like Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring all under his belt. Thus a new horror film from Wan is enough to get me excited and even though almost next to nothing is yet known about Malignant (other than it is something Wan hasn't explored yet) I'm on board. The cast doesn't boast any huge names - Annabelle Wallis being the biggest (along with Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White and Jacqueline McKenzie). There is as of yet no solid release date but if it premiers in 2021, like all Warner Bros. films, it will also be available on HBO Max. Color me excited. Rated R for strong horror violence and gruesome images, and for language.
Those are the big films for the week, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
COMING 2 AMERICA
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language and drug content.
Rated R for strong horror violence and gruesome images, and for language.
THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK
Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexual content and some nudity.
Rated PG-13 for violent content and bloody images.
THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout.
Rated PG for thematic elements and some language including offensive slurs.
TOM CLANCY'S WITHOUT REMORSE
Rated R for violence.
Rated PG-13 for some strong language and thematic elements.