Black Widow, The Tomorrow War and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 04/07/21 at 10:59 AM CT

In the most encouraging sign yet that the box office is getting back to normal, Godzilla vs Kong offered the first real evidence that people are willing to go back to the movies. With a pandemic-era record $48.5 million - the film set records for biggest opening day ($9.6 million on Wednesday), biggest single day ($12.5 million on Saturday), biggest three-day ($32.2 million) and biggest five-day ($45.8 million) since Covid protocols went into effect. It easily topped Tenet's $20.2 million opening. More important, that opening (granted the five-day versus the weekend) is on par with Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($47.7 million) and Kong: Skull Island ($61 million). And all this while it is also readily available to stream on HBO Max. And while no solid numbers have been released, Warner Bros. says that Godzilla vs. Kong had a “larger viewing audience than any other film or show on HBO Max since launch.” Oh, and to top it all off, it received an "A" Cinemascore, meaning it should have some legs at the box office.

While I'm not quite ready to declare victory and throw a huge parade - this is great news. As long as people are willing to take the time to get the vaccine and continue to follow guidelines set out by the CDC, I don't see why we can't get back to almost normal by summer/fall. And this has to be super encouraging for films that took a slight delay - Black Widow, No Time to Die, F9 to later in the year. And yes, this was a holiday weekend but you can't help to find this gives a little hope that things can get back to, if not normal, at least much closer than we've been in a long time.

To top it off, Godzilla vs. Kong is doing fantastic overseas as well, where China continues to be the biggest market. With another $115.1 million, the international total stands at $237.3 million for a worldwide gross of $285.8 million.

As for the rest of the domestic box office, another newcomer, the horror film The Unholy (starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cary Elwes and William Sadler) which follows a young girl who gains miraculous powers after talking to the Virgin Mary... only for the church to suspect much darker origins - opened a distant second with $3.47 million. The reviews for this (like so many horror films) are on the poor side (29% on Rotten Tomatoes) so this result can actually be considered... fine, I guess? This was never going to be a huge film in any case, so it will take what it can get.

Third place belongs to last week's top earner the action film Nobody where Bob Odenkirk pulls off his best John Wick impersonation. The crazy, bloody film took in $3.27 million (dropping 55%) and raised its domestic total to just over $12 million. It has done about $9.2 million overseas for a combined worldwide total of $21.3 million.

Fourth and fifth belonged to the family-friendly duo of Raya and the Last Dragon and Tom and Jerry. Pixar's latest took in $2.2 million (down 45.4%) for a new $32.4 million domestic and $86.6 million worldwide total while the cat and mouse team drew $1.4 million (down 44%) for a $39.5 million domestic and $93.5 million worldwide total.

Next week brings us the sci-fi films Voyagers, which follows a group of men and women on a deep space mission and where things take a turn for the primal.

Onto our MPAA Ratings Bulletin which features a duo this time, including the long-awaited return to the MCU and fighting a war in the future by recruiting people from the past.

MPAA Official Logo

Has it already been an entire year since we were supposed to get the next film in the MCU, Black Widow? Just about, as Black Widow was originally going to be released in May of 2020 before being pushed back several times but, it seems, its current July 9th date is finally going to stick. Scarlett Johansson's character, Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, was famously (THREE YEAR OLD SPOILER INCOMING) killed off in Avengers: Infinity War, Thus this film actually takes place between the events of Civil War and Infinity War and introduces us to some new characters, including sister-in-arms Yelena Belova (also trained in the Red Room) played by Florence Pugh, father-figure Alexei Shostakov aka The Red Guardian (think Captain America... but Russian) played by David Harbour and mother-figure Melina Vostokoff, a seasoned super spy trained in the Red Room and a Black Widow herself, played by Rachel Weisz. William Hurt also returns as the character Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross while O-T Fagbenle plays Mason, a potential romantic interest and Ray Winstone plays Dreykov, the current head of the Red Room. Those who have seen the trailers also knows that Taskmaster is a part of the film. While it has not yet been revealed who is behind the mask (though Weisz seems to be the current best guess), the character is known for being able to copy the fighting style of anyone and incorporate it into their own. I think the trailers look amazing and that this film will fit right in with the MCU and be another gargantuan hit and hopefully really help set up the future of the series which, let's face it, is going to have to start bringing in some new faces. At least we finally know we won't have to wait long. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence/action, some language and thematic material.

It has just been announced that The Tomorrow War has been bought by Amazon and will now release as a streaming title on July 2nd - but I'm going to cover it anyway, because I'm a sucker for time-traveling action and this looks like it has it all. It seems humanity is fighting a doomed war against an alien species in 2051 but taking a book out of The Terminator franchise, mankind sends some people back to recruit some worthy soldiers and turn the tide. This includes Dan Forester (Chris Pratt), teach and family man who wants to secure a future for his daughter. He teams up with a brilliant scientist, Romeo Command (Yvonne Strahovski) along with his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) in hopes of being able to rewrite the fate of the planet. Now that's a lot to take in, but man, does it sound like a fun trip - a little bit of Edge of Tomorrow, maybe some Oblivion (why isn't Tom Cruise in this instead of Pratt, huh?) - in any case, it sounds like a fun, summer treat and I'm in. The film also stars Edwin Hodge, Betty Gilpin, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Sam Richardson and Jasmine Mathews. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and some suggestive references.

Those are the two big films, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:

THE APE STAR

Rated PG for mild thematic elements.


AUDIBLE

Rated PG-13 for thematic material and brief strong language.


BLACK WIDOW

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence/action, some language and thematic material.


THE DJINN

Rated R for some disturbing violence.


THE DRY

Rated R for violence, and language throughout.


HOLLER

Rated R for language and sexual references.


LIMBO

Rated R for language.


THE TOMORROW WAR

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and some suggestive references.

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