Respect, Spirit Untamed and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 02/10/21 at 11:05 AM CT

Historically Superbowl weekend is one of the slowest as the football spectacular draws the biggest TV crowd of the year - not to mention the matchup of Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes was already a big draw. While the game itself might have proven a bit underwhelming, it still meant one of the most painful box office results in recent memory. No film in the top five had a per-theater average over $1000 - with The Little Things repeating as the top draw with $2.1 million (down a painful 55.3% over opening weekend) and having just a $951 average.

The Croods: A New Age continues to be one of the lone bright spots as it took second place with $1.8 millino (down a mere 3.2%) and now stands at $46 million domestic with nearly $150 million worldwide. This one should be able to crack $50 million as its resilience, even with home streaming options available, has been impressive.

Liam Neeson's The Marksman took third with $1 million for new domestic total of just over $9 million ($11.6 million worldwide). Wonder Woman: 1984 was in fourth place with $905,000 - down 30% - for a new domestic total of $40.3 million with $153.3 million worldwide. Rounding out the top five, Monster Hunter brought in $585,00 for $11.9 million domestic and $21.4 million worldwide. The only film to crack the $1000 per-theater mark was the re-release of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, which landed in 8th place with $166,000 and an average of $1,106.

There are a lot of films coming out in the next few weeks but almost all of them are going to be on a limited basis while most will also be streaming at the same time. While no new major delays have been announced, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop when Disney will push back the release date for their MCU and animated films.

As for the ratings update we have two films - a long-delayed biopic of Aretha Franklin and an animated film from Universal. At least there's something to talk about here.

MPAA Official Logo

I don't understand the recent trend of biopics of towering figures in the music world that don't feature their actual music. If you're going to celebrate the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin or Tupac, their stories are important but so is their music. Luckily, it seems that Respect isn't going to fall into this trap. With Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) in the lead as the Queen of Soul, you know she has the talent to pull off the vocals (and she has the blessing of Aretha Franklin herself). She has a strong supporting cast to back her up as well with Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, Marlon Wayans, Tituss Burgess, Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, Marc Maron, Mary J. Blige and Saycon Sengbloh all doing their part. While I did enjoy the likes of Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody, I also hope that Respect is more grounded in reality - because while music is important, I also like to keep things honest. Respect is one of the many films that has been shuffled and delayed due to Covid and currently has an August release date - so we'll see if that pans out. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, strong language including racial epithets, violence, suggestive material, and smoking.

Animation has been one of the few genres that, maybe thrived isn't a good word, but has had a solid run. Croods has remained at the top of the box office for months now while Soul has proven a hit overseas. So maybe that means good things ahead for Spirit Untamed. The film follows in the footsteps of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron released back in 2002 - but Matt Damon is not reprising his role as the horse. In fact, I can't give you much info as the cast hasn't been released as of yet (despite a June release date - something I fear is also going to be pushed back) and while Spirit isn't anywhere near the top like Pixar, Croods or the like, perhaps it will garner enough eyes to make it worthwhile though I wouldn't be surprised if this winds up a streaming title in the end. Rated PG for some adventure action.

That is the bulk of the list but you can check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:


Rated PG-13 for drug use, suggestive material and some language.


Rated R for language throughout and brief nude sketches.


Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexual references.


Rated R for some violence.


Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, strong language including racial epithets, violence, suggestive material, and smoking.


Rated PG for some adventure action.


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