A Muted MPAA Ratings Update as Eternals Holds Onto First Place as Clifford Opens Strong

By Chris Kavan - 11/17/21 at 06:48 PM CT

As stated, the MPAA Ratings Bulletin this week is another case of missing wide releases so after our weekend box office update I'll present you with the list and that's it. As for the box office, Eternals still sits atop the box office even as the live-action Clifford the Big Red Dog had a strong second-place opening. Meanwhile, the awards season hopefuls continue to heat up as Kenneth Branagh's Belfast had a fine limited debut.

I don't think anyone was expecting Eternals to fall from its top spot, but it faced some surprisingly strong competition in the form of a Big Red Dog. Still, the MCU's latest film, despite the weaker reviews and audience response, fell 62.3% in its second weekend - a bigger drop than Shang-Chi's 52% hold but better than Black Widow's 57% second-week drop. It added $26.8 million, giving the film a new total of $118.1 million. For my two cents, I didn't think Eternals was the worst MCU film - in fact, I would place it firmly in the middle of the pack. It's a bit talky - but given the size of the cast and the cosmic nature of the story, well, quite a bit had to be extrapolated. The film has earned an additional $162.6 from overseas, giving it just over $280 million worldwide.

As mentioned, Clifford the Big Red Dog came in strong in second place with a $16.6 million opening as families starving for some content showed up in droves. With its early Wednesday opening taken into account, Clifford have earned $22.2 million so far - all while being available on Paramount+ for free. While critics weren't impressed, giving the film a 48% Rotten score, audiences were much more appreciative, awarding Clifford an "A" Cinemascore. It has yet to open overseas, but at least has awhile before facing any competition as Disney's Encanto is the biggest threat but won't drop until Nov. 24th.

Coming in the third-place position, Dune had a nice hold in its third week, dipping just 28.8% and adding $5.54 million to its total. The sci-fi epic has made $93.1 million on the domestic front so far, inching ever closer to that $100 million mark. Things look much brighter overseas where it has taken in $258.1 million on the international market, bringing its worldwide total to $351 million.

In fourth place, No Time to Die also held strong after a hefty six-week run. Even with availability on the VOD market, the film dipped a mere 25%, adding another $4.5 million to, which was just enough to cross the $150 million mark. Daniel Craig's bon voyage to Bond has earned an impressive $558.2 million overseas for a worldwide total topping $708 million. As it stands, that means No Time to Die is only the second North American film to top the $700 million mark - joining F9 ($721 million) as the only other film to hit that milestone. Power to the franchise, baby!

Rounding out the top five, Venom: Let There Be Carnage enjoyed the best hold among all films in the top ten, dipping just 12.2% in its now 7th weekend out. The sequel added $3.9 million, which was enough to top the $200 million mark with a new $202.6 million total. It also joins rarified company as it is only the second film after Shang-Chi ($224.2 million) to top the $200 million domestic mark. Its international total sits just slightly ahead at $238.8 million, giving it a well-rounded $441.5 million total.

Outside the top five, Belfast, which has garnered plenty of awards attention, debuted in limited release in 580 theaters, opening with $1.8 million - good enough for eighth place. That gave it a $3,067 per-theater average. It has impressed critics (88% Fresh) and audiences ("A-" Cinemascore) both of which bode well for its future.

This coming weekend, Ghostbusters: Afterlife looks to bring something strange to the neighborhood and we also get the inspirational story of King Richard, in which Will Smith portrays the father of future tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and how he shaped their lives.

MPAA Official Logo

Here we go with a nice list of new films getting their ratings release - and that's it as the MPAA Ratings Bulletin contains nary a single wide release nor even a future streaming title to worry about. Better luck next time.


Rated R for violence and language.


Rated PG for thematic elements, a suggestive reference and mild language.


Rated R for violence and language.


Rated R for language and some sexual references.


Rated R for some sexual content and language.


Rated R for some violent/bloody images.


Rated R for language, sexual material, some drug use and partial nudity.


Rated R for violence, language, some disturbing images and nudity.


Rated PG for violence, some action and thematic elements.


Rated R for strong violence and gore, pervasive language, some drug use and sexual material.


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