The Forever Purge and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 03/31/21 at 12:04 PM CT

Things may be getting closer to being back to normal at the box office. There is still a ways to go and while dates are still being shuffled around, the overall trajectory is definitely on the upward swing. Case in point, for the first time since Covid closed down most theaters, all top five films grossed at least $1 million. Better news, Godzilla vs. Kong scored some major wins overseas and all signs point to this one being a hit, even if you catch it streaming as well.

Let's start with this weekend first, though, where Nobody, starring Bob Odenkirk as a typical family man who has a shady past and finds himself putting his skills back in play when his family is threatened. If this reminds you of a certain Keanu Reeves franchise, that's the point, as the creators of John Wick also worked on this film. Nobody opened in first with $6.7 million with a solid $2,723 per-screen average - and both critcs (80% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (A- Cinemascore) seemed to revel in the vigilante, R-rated madness. It also earned $5 million overseas for a $11.7 million global tally. Considering the film has a rather light $15 million budget, it seems assured this one will wind up in the black. The margin may not be huge, but it will be there.

Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon took second place with $3.5 million (down about 27%) for a new total of $28.6 million. With $52.4 million overseas, the well-received animated film has made $83.1 million global.

Another family-friendly film, Tom and Jerry, took the third place spot with $2.5 million (down 34.2%) and giving the film a new $37.1 million total. The film is running neck-and-neck with Raya for global total, just ahead with $85.6 million.

In fourth place Chaos walking added $1.2 million (down 37%) and giving the film a new $11.5 million domestic total with just over $17 million global.

Rounding out the top five was the Benedict Cumberbatch Cold War spy thriller The Courier with just over $1 million (down 45%) with a domestic total of $3.4 million.

The big news, though, was the debut of Godzilla vs. Kong on the international market ahead of its domestic debut. The big monster fight drew a big monster crowd, with China leading the way with $69.2 million - the best opening for a U.S. film in that market in the Covid era - for a total of $123.1 million. About $12.4 million of that came from IMAX screens and taking everything into account, bodes well for its domestic release, where it will have five full days to flex its muscles when it opens on March 31st.

We'll see where we stand - vaccinations are going well, but there is a rumble of another Covid wave if people take a too laissez-faire attitude about getting back to "normal" - come on people, social distance and keep that mask on - let's not take one step forward and two steps back now.

Onward to the MPAA Ratings Bulletin where we find yet another Purge... this time FOR-EV-ER.

MPAA Official Logo

It's funny that The Purge franchise morphed from a simple home invasion film to a surprisingly deep exploration about class and social warfare. I mean, deep for a horror franchise, anyway. The sequels essentially confirmed that The Purge was a cover to get rid of the undesirables - the poor, the elderly, the minorities - and keep rich, white people in power... and it sound scarily familiar these days. But now we get The Forever Purge and there has yet to be an official plot released according to Wikipedia, the film revolves around a Mexican couple who escape a drug cartel only to find themselves betrayed by the people at a Texas ranch who want to continue the Purge despite the government overturning the practice of a no-consequences free-for-all. Whether that is official or not, the film stars Narcos standout Ana de la Reguera, along with Josh Lucas, Will Patton, Cassidy Freeman, Leven Rambin and Veronica Falcón among others. If the plot is true, it looks like the franchise isn't abandoning its societal critique, just taking it in a different direction. Rated R for strong/bloody violence, and language throughout.

That's the only major film of note this week, but you can check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below for the rest:

ACE AND THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

Rated PG for some language, thematic elements and brief smoking images.


BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN PART TWO

Rated R for some violence and bloody images.


BUTTER

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving suicide, crude sexual material, language, and drinking - all involving teens.


THE FOREVER PURGE

Rated R for strong/bloody violence, and language throughout.


NO SUDDEN MOVE

Rated R for language throughout, some violence and sexual references.


PORT AUTHORITY

Rated R for pervasive language, some offensive slurs, sexual content, nudity and violence.


SMELLVILLE

Rated PG for rude material, language and brief smoking.


TRIUMPH

Rated PG-13 for language.


WITNESSES

Rated PG for violence and thematic elements.

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