Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Fatherhood and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 02/17/21 at 10:23 AM CT

Despite getting rave reviews, despite a powerhouse cast and relevant story, despite awards-season nominations and Oscar hopes - Judas and the Black Messiah had to settle for second place to a 12-week old animated film. That's right, The Croods: A New Age enjoyed a President's Day weekend bounce of 21.4% - enough that it took first place for the first time since December 11th with just over $2 million ($2.7 million for the holiday) edging out the star-studded drama in the process.

A New Age now sits at $48.9 million domestic and $151.4 million worldside. Judas came in at right around $2 million, a razor-close second place but hopefully it can turn good word of moutha and critical acclaim into longevity. It's also one of the films playing at the same time on HBO Max (for a month, anyway).

Rounding out the rest, last week's top film, crime thriller The Little Things took third place with $1.9 million, dipping 10.5% and adding up to a new domestic total of $9.7 million and a worldwide total of $17 million. Wonder Woman 1984 was in fourth place with $1.3 million, but did enjoy a nice 43.7% increase over last weekend for a new domestic total of $41.8 million with a worldwide total of $157 million. Coming in the 5th spot, Liam Neeson's The Marksman managed a $1.1 million weekend (also up about 15%) for a new $10.6 million total and $13.8 million worldwide.

The big news, however, was outside of the U.S. as Detective Chinatown 3 - a comedic action/adventure film became the highest-grossing single market film of all time with an impressive $397 million opening in China - topping the $357 million opening of Avengers: Endgame in North America. The film fell on the Lunar New Year, a major holiday in Asian territories and the China box office hit a total of $775 million for the holiday frame. It was also the first time ever the country enjoyed three consecutive days over $155 million per day. And this all comes with cap limits on theaters still in effect (though ticket prices were higher to meet demand accounting for the bigger numbers). It may provide some spark that U.S. theaters can get back on track eventually.

Onto the ratings where we revisit some old friends and take on some adult challenges.

MPAA Official Logo

Has there been a series that has suffered as many ups and downs as Ghostbusters? The original is a classic in every sense of the word - the sequel just couldn't match the impact. An all-female remake drew out plenty of criticism and trolls alike and now, finally (at some point in 2021 one hopes) we're getting Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a direct sequel to the original franchise. While the much-maligned 2016 version had cameos from the original cast, this sequel gets Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts all back on board playing their original characters (whether in large or small parts is irrelevant in my eyes - the fact they came back at all seems a good indication). What's more, the rest of the cast is made up of some big names as well with Carrie Coon, Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard playing the part of the family who moves into a small-town farmhouse only to discover the connection to the families' ghostbusting legacy. The ever-affable Paul Rudd plays a local teacher who is a complete Ghostbusters nut and helps them unravel the mystery. Long-delayed, like so many other films, Afterlife is hopefully eyeing a November release and I, for one, hope it does live up to the original because the series deserves a new life. Rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some suggestive references.

From fun and games and ghosts to something far more grounded in reality we get to experience Fatherhood. Based on the memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logelin, the film stars Kevin Hart as Longelin who finds himself having to raise his daughter as a single father after the sudden death of his wife a day after she gives birth. The film boasts a talented extended cast with Lil Rel Howery, Paul Reiser, Alfre Woodard, DeWanda Wise, Melody Hurd, Deborah Ayorinde and Anthony Carrigan all on board. This is the kind of film that really wants to hit you with all the feels and it's interesting that Hart (who replaced Channing Tatum in the lead role) was picked - but I hope the man known mainly for comedy can pack an emotional punch as well. Rated PG-13 for some strong language, and suggestive material.

Those are the two main films getting their ratings due this week, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below for the rest:


Rated R for some violence and language, and brief sexuality.


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


Rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some suggestive references.


Rated R for crude sexual content, pervasive language and some drug use.


Rated PG-13 for some violent images.


Rated R for some disturbing images and violence.


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