By Chris Kavan - 05/11/22 at 10:59 AM CT
Finally we have a busy week from the MPAA board as the past few weeks have been a barren wasteland of quality content. Three new films to talk about and it's a family-fest combined with a hefty biopic. On the box office side of things, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness had no competition and easily took the top spot - as well as the biggest opening of 2022.
Sam Raimi's impact on the MCU was immediate and massive as Doctor Strange and the Mutliverse of Madness came in hot with a hefty $187.4 million opening - easily topping The Batman's $134 million opening for the biggest of 2022. It's also the second-biggest opening since the pandemic, topped only by another MCU title in Spider-Man: No Way Home. It also more than doubled the opening of the original Doctor Strange ($85 million) back in 2016. I love the fact this is a horror-tinged MCU offering - as well as introducing American Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) and giving Elizabeth Olsen a chance to show off some major acting chops following WandaVision. While the 75% Fresh and merely "B+" Cinemascore (the lowest in the MCU after The Eternals) may seem worrying, box office numbers seem to indicate even with tempered reactions, this is going to be another huge win for the MCU. Perhaps people were expecting even MORE cameos. In the international market, the Doctor Strange sequel did even better, adding another $265 million for a worldwide total of $452 million - which looks even more impressive when you consider the entire run for the first Doctor Strange was $677.8 million. This will be one of the biggest films of the year in a year filled with plenty of big films and just proves the MCU is a nigh-unstoppable Juggernaut.
The rest of the top five looks pretty much the same - animated caper The Bad Guys dipped 41% and brought in $9.57 million for a new $57.3 million total, crossing the $50 million mark in the process. It's global total is fast approaching $150 million with a $90.6 million overseas total and $148 million combined effort thus far.
Landing in third place was Sonic 2 with a $6 million weekend (down 47.8%) and a new $169.7 million total. The video game sequel has earned an additional $179.5 international for a combined total just shy of $350 million.
The fourth place spot went to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Dumbledore, which fell 48.7% to bring in $4.26 million for a new $86.3 million total. At this point, $100 million domestic is looking untenable but with $277.7 million overseas the series might not be dead just yet - time will tell.
Rounding out the top five, that OTHER multiverse movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once held on to its spot with a $3.52 million weekend and a new $41.77 million total - trying to get to that $50 million milestone. The film dipped a light 36.3% and this indie hit just keeps on coming and proves specialty cinema isn't dead yet, either.
Next week brings just one new wide release, an updated take on Stephen King's Firestarter - which isn't going to bring enough heat to dethrone Doctor Strange, which should have all of May to itself - Top Gun: Maverick doesn't drop until the 27th.
After a few weeks of famine, the MPAA Ratings board is back on track with two family-friendly titles and what is shaping up to be the next, big musical biopic. Finally something I can sink my teeth into.
Pixar and Disney have been on a rocky road as many of the feature films produced by the studio have gone straight to streaming on Disney+ rather than a traditional theatrical debut, including their most recent film, Turning Red. But the upcoming Lightyear looks to get things back on track. A prequel to the Toy Story films, Lightyear tells the story of the man behind the toy - astronaut Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans) and his adventures to infinity and beyond. Not quite a true-life biopic, more like how Star Wars and Marvel spawn toy franchises - a fictional movie version of everyone's favorite toy hero. The film boasts a likewise impressive vocal cast including Taika Waititi, Keke Palmer, James Brolin, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba and Efren Ramirez among others. It also features a talking cat, it's got that going for it too. Given how families seem much more keen on returning to the big screen, Lightyear should be a solid hit. Rated PG for action/peril.
Musical biopics tend to rise and fall based on how they incorporate the actual music of said artist. Blockbusters like Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody take radically different approaches to how they tell the story, but both were hits because the music was there. Based on that quality alone, Baz Luhrmann should have no trouble in making Elvis the next, great biopic. While Austin Butler may be a relative unknown, based on the trailer, he makes for a pretty convincing Elvis, whether young and conflicted, trying to break bad habits, dealing with the cost of fame and finally settling into his iconic look - and he's not alone with Tom Hanks portraying Colonel Tom Parker who is with him every step of the way - for good and bad. Elvis looks like it's taking the more Bohemian Rhapsody approach, not shying away from the low moments but while also showcasing the amazing musical talent of the artist who became synonymous with rock n roll. Olivia DeJonge, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Dacre Montgomery, David Wenham, Luke Bracey, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Kate Mulvany are also along to bring this larger-than-life persona to the big screen. Rated PG-13 for substance abuse, strong language, suggestive material and smoking.
And coming around to where we started - families - we have another animated offering in the form of DC League of Super-Pets, I'm guessing NOT officially part of the DCEU (but what is these days?), the film features a bevy of talent with Dwayne Johnson as Super-man's pet Krypto and Batman's hound, Ace (Kevin Hart) who must round up some super friends when Superman (John Krasinski), Batman (Keanu Reeves) and the rest of the Justice League fall afoul of Lex Luthor (Marc Maron) and must be rescued. These new friends include PB - a potbellied pig with the power to change size (Vanessa Bayer), Merton, a super-speedy turtle (Natasha Lyonne) and Chip, a squirrel who can harness electricity (Diego Luna). Kate McKinnon, Ben Schwartz, Jameela Jamil and Thomas Middleditch round out the cast. I mean, who can't get behind pets with super powers? I mean, pets WITHOUT super powers have done just fine at the box office, so this added twist just means more fun for all, right? Rated PG for action, mild violence, language and rude humor.
Those are the big three and it feels good to be able to share again! Check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated PG-13 for some strong violence, language, and suggestive material.
Rated R for language and drug use.
Rated R for language.
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, some strong language, suggestive material and violence.
DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS
Rated PG for action, mild violence, language and rude humor.
Rated PG-13 for substance abuse, strong language, suggestive material and smoking.
THE JOYS AND SORROWS OF YOUNG YUGUO
Rated PG for thematic elements.
Rated PG for action/peril.
A LOVE SONG
Rated PG for mild thematic elements.
MY BUTT HAZZA FEVER
Rated PG for rude humor and language.
ROALD DAHL'S MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Rated PG for thematic elements, exaggerated bullying and some language.
SNIPER: ROGUE MISSION
Rated R for bloody violence, language and brief sexual material.
Rated R for violence, language throughout and some drug material.
THEY CLONED TYRELL
Rated R for pervasive language, violence, some sexual material and drug use.
THE TOXIC AVENGER
Rated R for strong violence and gore, language throughout, sexual references and brief graphic nudity.
UNTRAPPED: THE STORY OF LIL BABY
Rated R for language and drug content throughout, and some sexual material.
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content including sexual assault, bloody images and some strong language.