Conjuring, Separation, Profile, Here Today and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 04/21/21 at 11:33 AM CT

An impressive lineup from the ratings board this week, especially considering how slow the past few weeks have been on the ratings front. But before we get to that, our box office update is once again all about Godzilla vs. Kong.

The monster mashup continued to easily top the box office in its third week with $7.8 million (dipping another 43.5%) and raising its domestic total to over $80 million with $80.6 in the bank. It also continued to flex its muscles overseas where it has wracked up an impressive $310 million for a total of nearly $391 million - well on its way to topping $400 million in the next few days. The last film to top $400 million? That would be Bad Boys for Life - a whopping 15 months ago. Although it has easily been king of the mountain at the box office for awhile - we'll see how the dueling monsters turn out when they face an actual challenge in Mortal Kombat.

Coming in second place once again was Bob Odenkirk's Nobody, taking in $2.5 million (down just 5.5%) even as it became available for premium VOD rental. The film has made $19 million thus far, with anothe $15.5 million overseas for a good enough $34.5 million worldwide total.

In third place with find horror film The Unholy with $2 million (down 14.6%) raising its domestic total of $9.5 million and just over $10 million worldwide with negligible overseas returns.

Fourth place is Raya and the Last Dragon with $1.9 million (down 12.7%), giving it a domestic total of $37.7 million and $95.7 million worldwide with $58 million coming overseas.

In fifth place, Tom and Jerry made a comeback, dethroning Voyagers from the fifth place spot with $1.1 million (a mere 8% drop compared to the 45% for Voyagers) and raising its domestic total to $42.6 million and a worldwide total of $101.4 million. As an aside, I would have never predicted a classic cat and mouse duo/live action hybrid would be able to top a state-of-the-art Disney production - but here we are!

Outside the top five, the only new film of note was the horror film In the Earth, which bowed in 547 theaters and made $505,723 - good enough for 8th place - and not bad for a limited release in these times.

Next week brings us the buzzy Mortal Kombat as well as the cult anime Demon Slayer Mugen Train (which was a huge hit in native Japan, knocking off Spirited Away as the highest-grossing animated film of all time).

The ratings bulletin this week is filled to the brim with new releases - although many have flown under the radar (at least for me) before now. The biggest of the bunch would be the latest entry in The Conjuring series (The Devil Made Me Do It) joined by another horror film in Separation, a film about the danger of pretending to be who you are not and even a new comedy from Billy Crystal.

MPAA Official Logo

I'm not going to mince words, while The Conjuring series started off strong, lately its been all kinds of a mess. I liked the first two films - and Annabelle Creation was pretty good, but aside from that it's been more miss than hit with The Nun, Annabelle Comes Home and Curse of la Llorona. Which is why I'm not sure that The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is going to turn things around, but we'll see. For one, directing duties have been passed from James Wan (busy with many other projects) to Michael Chaves (who directed the Curse of la Llorona) and this time around there's no haunted house - but a haunted person. The film is based on the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson who, in 1981, killed his landlord but whose court defense was based on "demonic possession" - literally the "Devil Made Me Do It" in the title. The Warrens were involved in this case - they performed an exorcism after petitioning the church on David Glatzel, and claimed the demon possessing the child fled his body and instead possessed Johnson. Like many of the other Conjuring films that are based on actual cases, I'm guessing several liberties will be taken with this story as well. At least Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are still on board and they have the young Julian Hilliard (no stranger to horror, having appeared on the excellent Haunting of Hill House) as the possessed child. While the quality may be waning, for the most part the Conjuring universe films make plenty of bank. The Nun scored over $365 million worldwie while Annabelle Comes Home hit over $230 million. La Llorna is really the only big dud - but I don't think Chaves is to blame, as the story was rather weak. Hopefully following the Warrens helps revive the series as bit. As with every other Warner Bros. film, this will stream on HBO Max as well as play in theaters. Rated R for for terror, violence and some disturbing images.

Sticking with horror for the time being, let's move on to Separation, which is actually just a little over a week out. Did you ever imagine what would happen if the toys coming to life in Toy Story had much more sinister intentions? Well, worry not, because now we can find out! Separation follows the story of a young girl (Violet McGraw) dealing with the fallout over the sudden death of her mother (Mamie Gummer). That's when her puppets, happily named "Grisly Kin" and based on her artist father's (Rupert Friend) work, begin to come to life. Her home life was never ideal, but things take a frightening turn when her grandfather (Brian Cox) sues for custody and her babysitter (Madeline Brewer) tries to take the place of her mother. I'm not sure it brings that much new to the table, but it sounds intriguing enough that I will probably check it out someday when I'm in the mood for a horror snack. Rated R for language, some violence and brief drug use.

I admit I have yet to see Searching - the John Choo film that follows a father searching for his missing daughter that take place entirely from the viewpoint of computer/phone screens. But while so-called Screenlife technology may seem more like a gimmick, it turns out it is also quite effective, so much so that Timur Bekmambetov (best known for directing Night Watch, Day Watch and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter... along with a very terrible Ben-Hur adaptation) is bringing it back for Profile. I fully admit I had no idea this was coming out (and so soon) but he premise seems interesting as we follow an undercover British journalist (Valene Kane) as she infiltrates the propaganda arm of the Islamic State, which has been successful in recruiting more and more European women, only to find herself drawn in too deep as she becomes closer and closer with the ISIS recruiter (Shazad Latif) assigned to her. Taking place entirely over computer screens, the film offers a more intimate view between these characters. It also shows just how easy it is to play a role online - and why it is so easy for people to become lost to who (or what) they see on their screens. This will probably fly way under the radar, but color me interested. Rated R for language throughout and some disturbing images.

Why don't we wrap things up on a lighter note, yeah? Billy Crystal has only directed a handful of films but he's ready to return to that role for Here Today. Crystal also stars in the film as Charlie Burnz, a veteran comedy writer, who forms an unlikely bond with New York singer Emma Payge (Tiffany Hadish). The duo are out to prove that love and trust can form no matter the generation gap. The film also stars Penn Badgley, Laura Benanti, Louisa Krause, Sharon Stone, Kevin Kline and Barry Levinson. This seems like a fine, touching film - perhaps one that can life the spirts of these pandemic-fueled times and it's great to see Billy Crystal still kicking things around. I have no idea how audiences will respond, but I wish it all the best. Rated PG-13 for strong language, and sexual references.

There's your decently-sized write-up for this week, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT

Rated R for terror, violence and some disturbing images.


CRY MACHO

Rated PG-13 for language and thematic elements.


DRAMA DRAMA

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive references and language.


GAIA

Rated R for some violence and bloody images, sexual content, nudity and language.


THE GATEWAY

Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug use, some sexual content and nudity.


THE GUILTY

Rated R for language throughout.


HERE TODAY

Rated PG-13 for strong language, and sexual references.


THE LITTLE PRINCE(SS)

Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language.


THE LONELIEST WHALE

Rated PG for some unsettling whaling images, language and brief smoking.


MAYOR PETE

Rated R for language.


A MOUTHFUL OF AIR

Rated R for some language.


PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE

Rated R for language throughout and some disturbing images.


RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, some strong language including a sexual reference, and suggestive material.


SEPARATION

Rated R for language, some violence and brief drug use.


SKATER GIRL

Rated PG for thematic material.


SUMMER OF SOUL

Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images, smoking and brief drug material.

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