By Chris Kavan - 10/13/21 at 11:32 AM CT
The ratings bulletin is short but still has a couple of films to cover, one a heartfelt tribute to youth the other a film where a bunch of grown men embarrass and injure themselves for your entertainment. On the box office front Daniel Craig's last outing as 007 opened with a bang - but a somewhat lighter bang than was expected and it might mean trouble ahead for the rest of month's releases.
After the openings of Shang-Chi and Venom came in above expectations, box office predictions for No Time to Die were all pointing sky high - $60-$70 million was the most common numbers thrown about with $$90 million - even $100 million - not out of the question according to some sources. Yet after the dust settled, No Time to Die came in below most bold predictions, with a $55.2 weekend. While that is below the likes of Spectre ($70.4 million) and Skyfall ($88.4 million), I still don't consider this a bad outcome. Unlike Shang-Chi and Venom, the audience for No Time to Die trends older - an audience that is still more likely to stay home due to Covid concerns. And while it's also true that older audiences tend to prolong a film's chances in theaters as well, I don't know if that will be the case for this James Bond outing. As it stands, the film was a hit with audiences with an "A-" Cinemascore, as well as critics, who awarded it an 84% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Also good news - it has already earned $257.3 million overseas - already topping $300 million worldwide - and it still has to open in China (coming October 29th) - where the franchise has already proven to be quite popular. So don't lament the lower opening, No Time to Die is going to turn out just fine.
Coming in second place after its monster debut, Venom: Let There Be Carnage took a not-surprising 64.7% hit, adding $31.75 million to its total, which easily crossed the $125 million mark and now stands at $141.4 million. That $150 million milestone will be hit by next weekend as well. With about $44 million overseas, the Venom Sequel sits at over $185 million worldwide and should play well through October.
In third place the animated Addams Family 2 dipped 41.6% and added another $10.1 million, crossing $25 million in the process to wind up at $31.2 million. Playing to the Halloween family crowd, the sequel should also have a solid October outing. It added a light $4.6 million overseas as well.
In the fourth-place position, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings continues to dazzle - with the best hold of any film in the top 10, dipping just 29.5% now in its sixth week. With a $4.3 million weekend, the latest MCU entry has reached $212.5 million as it also crossed the $400 million mark worldwide.
Rounding out the top five, The Many Saints of Newark fell nearly 70% from its disastrous opening with a $1.4 million weekend and a lackluster $7.37 million. No matter how much it helped HBO Max, I can't imagine this outcome is anything other than disappointing for all involved.
In random trivia news, A24's Lamb, starring Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snær Guðnason, became the film with the highest opening ever for an Icelandic film, landing in 8th place with a $1 million opening. Of course if you're familiar with A24 offerings, you know this will be a trippy horror-type film and I'm looking forward to seeing a lamb/child hybrid and how it will seriously destroy my mind.
Out of the box office and into the fire - of the MPAA Ratings Bulletin where we find director
Kenneth Branagh waxing nostalgic while Johnny Knoxville and company take one final hurrah of destroying what left of their now-aged bodies and minds.
If done right (see Alfonso Cuarón's Roma), a deeply personal story about one's youth can be highly effective, emotional and deserving of awards recognition. This is a hallmark of many directors over the years and this year Kenneth Branagh throws hit hat in the right with Belfast. The film follows a young boy named Buddy (Jude Hill), the son in a working-class family, growing up in Belfast during the turbulent era in the late 1960s. Branagh, who also wrote in addition to directing, has assembled an impressive cast with Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe playing the mother and father with Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds portraying his grandma and grandpa. Colin Morgan, Michael Maloney, Lara McDonnell, Gerard Horan and Olive Tennant help round out the cast. Much like Roma, the film was shot on location (in London and Belfast) and it also in black and white. And it has earned an 80% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes as well as winning the People's Choice Award at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. In short, it looks like Branagh has hit a lot of the right notes and this could easily be a contender for more awards down the road. Rated PG-13 for some violence and strong language.
If awards and deeply moving personal journeys aren't your cup of tea, don't worry, you can also check out a group of disturbed grown men actively trying to destroy what is left of their minds and bodies in Jackass Forever. That's right, the old (and I mean that quite literally at this point) gang is back together: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Jeff Tremaine, Jason 'Wee Man' Acuña, Ehren McGhehey, Dave England, Chris Raab, Rakeyohn and some special guests like Tony Hawk, Rob Dyrdek, Spike Jonze, Machine Gun Kelly, Tyler the Creator and Eric André. If you're thinking someone is missing from this picture, there has been a highly contentious relationship with former Jackass mainstay Bam Margera - who has dealt with several personal issues and, while he filmed some scenes, it seems his actions have essentially removed him from the final film. There has also been issues alluding animal cruelty with scenes of bullfighting and tarantulas being singled out, though it appears this hasn't led to a film delay. In any case, Knoxville has claimed this will be his final Jackass outing, though he has also said the torch is being passed to new cast members namely Jasper Dolphin, Compston "Darkshark" Wilson (who is Jasper's father), Eric Manaka, Rachel Wolfson, Zach Holmes, and Sean "Poopies" McInerney. Director Tremaine says there is also enough material for a sequel (or a .5 version) that appears headed to Netflix at some point in the near future. So if you like seeing grown men make fools out of themselves (and possibly get injured in the process) this film's for you! Rated R for strong crude material and dangerous stunts, graphic nudity and language throughout.
Those are your two major films in this week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin, but you can check out the full list below:
Rated R for violence and language.
Rated PG-13 for some violence and strong language.
Rated R for bloody violence, pervasive language, and crude sexual references throughout.
HOME SWEET HOME ALONE
Rated PG for slapstick violence, rude material and some language.
Rated R for strong crude material and dangerous stunts, graphic nudity and language throughout.
PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN ( NOCHE DE FUEGO)
Rated R for some language.
Rated R for language.