By Chris Kavan - 09/01/21 at 12:11 PM CT
It's an avalanche of new and actually wide-reaching ratings this week from symbiotes to dueling knights to an animated sequel to a new kind of western. Lots to cover but first we have the box office to cover where - say it with me five times - Candyman took down Free Guy for the weekend win while some other films hit major milestones.
Going into the weekend, Candyman was predicted for around a $15 million opening but the theatrical-exclusive scared up a much better opening, settling in with an impressive $22 million debut. That nearly matched the first Candyman's $25.8 million total - which has gone on to become an urban-legend cult classic. Not quite a sequel or reboot - Nia DaCosta's version (with some help from Jordon Peele as screenwriter/producer) follows a visual artist, Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and girlfriend and art gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris) as they move to new, gentrified lofts where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood. Seeking inspiration, Anthony talks to an old-timer at a laundromat William Burke (Colman Domingo) who tells him the story of Candyman. With renewed purpose, Anthony creates an entire exhibit based on the legend, but it doesn't gain much praise - it does, however, open the door for the legend to spread once again... The film also features Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Vanessa Williams, Kyle Kaminsky and Brian King. I was a fan of the original and this looks to be a worthy follow-up. It has a solid 84% positive on Rotten Tomatoes and a likewise solid "B" Cinemascore from audiences. Horror films tend to be top-heavy at the box office, so we'll see what it does in its second week (especially with Shang-Chi makings its presence known) but with a mild $25 million budget, the film should have no problem making it into the black. Given the theme, it's no surprise that black audiences made up 37% of the audience with a full 69% coming in the 18-34 demo. I expect this will have a decent run in the coming weeks.
Slipping down to second after three weeks, Free Guy still held on pretty well, dipping just 29% and adding another $13.1 million to its total, which is now at $78.9 million, easily crossing that $75 million mark and looking to top $100 million before too long now. The film has already hit the $100 million mark overseas and I think it will continue to play well into September.
Coming in third, the kid-friendly PAW Patrol: The Movie dipped just under 50% for a $6.65 million weekend and a new $24.1 million total. Adding in the $37.8 million from overseas the rescue pups have pulled in a respectable $61.9 million worldwide. As the most family-friendly title out there, this should have a solid holiday total but I don't know if it will last much longer.
In fourth place, Disney's Jungle Cruise had the best hold out of any film in the top 12, with a 21.2% drop, adding another $5 million which was just enough to top the $100 million mark making it only the fifth film to cross that total in the pandemic era. It has also earned $87 million overseas and remains one of the most popular theatrical/premium streaming titles out there.
Rounding out the top five, horror sequel Don't Breathe 2 dipped 43.4% with a $2.86 million weekend leading to a $24.6 million total ($35.3 million worldwide). Like Candyman, this horror sequel has a small budget and looks to be profitable soon if not already.
Next week the long Labor Day holiday brings us Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which, unlike Black Widow, will be a theatrical exclusive and should lead to a big opening for the next MCU film.
On the ratings front, there is a lot to cover as it seems this was a big week for ratings. So let's get to it already.
While Spider-Man is in the MCU, that doesn't mean the entire symbiote party has been integrated yet, which is why we got a stand-alone Venom film in 2018. Off-the-wall crazy, with Tom Hardy really giving it his all, Venom was a massive hit, scaring up over $856 million worldwide. Little surprise a sequel was greenlit and now we get to experience Venom: Let There Be Carnage with Woody Harrelson on board as the even more brazenly violent symbiote known as Carnage. Mo-cap pioneer-turned-director Andy Serkis should have a lot of fun with this. While I thought the first film played things a little too over-the-top wacky - along with sudden bursts of violence - it wasn't a bad film. This should prove just as fun but maybe not as popular given the circumstances. This was one of the earliest film to push back its release date so we'll see if it stands firm. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material and suggestive references.
If you like a period piece with a lot of drama and challenging characters then The Last Duel is right up your alley. Taking place in 14th century France, the film follows the story of Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer - in a role completely opposite of the one she gives in Free Guy) who accuses her husband's friend and squire, Jacques LeGris (Adam Driver) of rape. This leads knight Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) to challenge LeGris to trial by combat - the last such one to (legally) be granted in France. But beyond this challenge, Marguerite must defend herself from a patriarchy who accuses her of lying - which could very well result in her death by being burned at the stake. A lot of heavy lifting here based on the trailer - but also it looks very compelling though I doubt it will attract a very young crowd. Directed by the venerable Ridley Scott, the film also stars Ben Affleck, Harriet Walter, Martin Csokas, Alex Lawther, Clive Russell and Nathaniel Parker among others. This could be poised as one of the awards-season front-runners provided it doesn't fall flat with critics. Rated R for strong violence including sexual assault, sexual content, some graphic nudity and language.
Speaking of royalty, one would think a film titled King Richard would follow a vast medieval monarchy but you would be quite wrong. In this case, King Richard refers to Richard Williams (Will Smith) father of two talented young girls, Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) who coaches and shapes them into the powerhouse tennis stars they will become. But this does not come without a fair share of drama and conflict along the way. The film features a strong cast as well with Jon Bernthal, Dylan McDermott, Tony Goldwyn, Erin Cummings and Aunjanue Ellis rounding out the main cast. While biographical stories tend to be hard to portray in a well-rounded light, given the star power involved I think this one could at least turn out better than most. Rated PG-13 for some violence, strong language, a sexual reference and brief drug references.
I never saw the rebooted animated version of The Addams Family, but apparently enough people did because we're getting another go at everyone's favorite ooky, kooky, spooky, creepy group with The Addams Family 2. The conventionally-named sequel follows Gomez (Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron) in a bid to keep their family from growing too far apart. Their growing kids Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Pugsley (Javon 'Wanna' Walton - replacing a now-too-old Finn Wolfhard) are drifting away and they think the best fix is to pack up and into the haunted camper and hit the road for a cross-country road trip. Of course Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) and Grandma (Bette Midler) will be along for the ride which will see the family visiting relatives like Cousin It (Snoop Dogg) as well as freaking out plenty of normies along the way. I'm sure it will appeal to families. Rated PG for macabre and rude humor, violence and language.
This week also features a strong steaming title with the Netflix offering The Harder They Fall, a western unlike most in that it features a primarily black cast. The film follows Nat Love (Lovecraft Country's Jonathan Majors), an outlaw who discovers the man responsible for killing his parents, Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) has been broken out of prison. This spurs him to get his old gang back together in order to get revenge. His crew includes one-time love interest Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), hot-tempered Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi), quick-draw Jim Beckwourth (RJ Cyler) and adversary-turned-ally Bass Reeves (Delro Lindo). Buck has his own crew, however, including "Treacherous" Trudy Smith (Regina King), Cherokee Bill (Lakeith Stanfield) - and they don't play to lose... ever. With a powerhouse cast, this looks to be an excellent modern western - and even Jay-Z (also a producer) is along to provide some music. While some people may be offended by an all-black western, I think this looks like it will be a lot of fun and I'm fully on board. Rated R for strong violence and language.
Whew! That's a big list for once but you can find even more in the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated PG for rude humor and some mild violence, language and suggestive references.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2
Rated PG for macabre and rude humor, violence and language.
Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content/nudity and violence.
Rated PG-13 for violence, bloody images and suggestive material.
Rated R for violence and language.
Rated R for language.
EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM
Rated R for violence, sexual assault, drug use, language throughout and nudity.
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements.
THE HARDER THEY FALL
Rated R for strong violence and language.
Rated R for violence, language and brief sexuality/nudity.
Rated PG-13 for some violence, strong language, a sexual reference and brief drug references.
THE LAST DUEL
Rated R for strong violence including sexual assault, sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language.
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexual content, partial nudity and strong violent content.
Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief nudity.
VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material and suggestive references.
VINCE CARTER: LEGACY
Rated PG for some language.