Bullet Train, Violent Night and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 07/20/22 at 07:28 PM CT

Thor continued to pack a mighty punch at the box office, fending off a stronger-than-expected Where the Crawdads Sing and a getting little challenge from the disappointing opening of Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank. The MPAA gives us a double-dose of wide releases this week - both trending on the action side of things.

Thor: Love and Thunder was pretty much always expected to take the crown this weekend, and it did handily, to the tune of $46.6 million but the second week drop of nearly 68% continues a worrying trend with Phase 4 films. Namely, bigger second week drops and more critic and audience grumbling. Still, that hasn't really hurt Doctor Strange 2 - which is approaching $1 billion worldwide - and it truly hasn't hurt Love and Thunder, either, which now sits at $234 million domestic and $266 million international for a total over $500 million already. The loudest voices don't necessarily represent the majority and the doom and gloom surrounding the MCU is overblown and I don't think the future of the franchise is in any trouble.

Minions: The Rise of Gru held strong in second place, dipping just 41.8% and adding in $26.8 million for the weekend for a new $263.4 million total. It is now running neck-and-neck with the first Minions film in terms of week-to-week totals and given that families see this as the de factor summer choice (sorry Paws of Fury) means it should play well for through the next month. With $275 million international the film sits comfortably near the $540 million mark worldwide.

In third place was an over-performing Where the Crawdads Sing. Based on the best-selling novel from Delia Owens the film is deep South coming-of-age mystery starring Daisy Edgar-Jones as the locally-derided "Marsh Girl" who none-the-less becomes a prime suspect when a local golden boy is found dead. While the film was a dud with critics, currently sitting at just 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences - made up largely by women - were much more receptive, giving the film a solid "A-" Cinemascore. This all added up to a $17.2 million third-place opening, better than most predicted and largely driven by said audience. Given that most of the big films this year have been franchise tent-poles or squarely aimed at male audiences, this successful bit of counter-programming must be seen as a win. We'll see if it finds continued support in the weeks ahead.

In the fourth-place position we find the year's biggest blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick, which has another fantastic hold, dipping just 20.9% (8 weeks in!) for a $12.26 million weekend and a $618.2 million domestic total. By this time the film has cracked the top 10 highest-grossing releases (domestic) of all time (sans inflation). It has earned $1.24 billion worldwide as well and looks like it will continue to fly high as the summer winds down.

Rounding out the top five, Baz Luhrmann's Elvis brought in $8 million, which was enough for the film to cross the $100 million mark with a $106.6 million total. That is pretty much the only non-sequel, adult-driven film to hit that mark. With $79.8 million international, Elvis is sitting at over $186 million global.

Outside the top five: Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, a loosely animated and child-friendly remake of Blazing Saddles, didn't draw much of a family crowd away from Minions - opening to a weak $6.3 million. If there is a silver lining for this one, it's that Paramount only has $10 million on the line for this one.

In semi-wide release, Mrs Harris Goes to Paris - about a 1950s widowed cleaning lady who becomes enchanted by a Dior dress, decides to travel to Paris and get one of her own - opened to $1.95 million in 9th place.

Next week brings us Jordon Peele's take on the sci-fi alien invasion genre with Nope.

MPAA Official Logo

We double our MPAA Ratings output from last weekend with TWO wide releases this time around - both testosterone fueled action goodness sure to please action fans.

Brad Pitt is no stranger to starring in some great action films - everything from Fight Club to the Ocean's franchise to Inglourious Basterds. That is why I think that Bullet Train should shake up the action genre. Sorry to knock Jason Statham and Liam Neeson - but rote action films just aren't the way to go these days. But with David Leitch at the helm - the man behind Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2 and Hobbs and Shaw (and at least partially responsible for John Wick as well) - this looks and feels like a Quentin Tarantino set-up with a bevy of characters and action-heavy sequences of violence. I think this one will be a little more over-the-top judging by the trailers I've seen, but you can have fun and still make a good action film. The story follows assassin Ladybug (Brad Pitt) who claims to have the worst luck, but still pulls off all his jobs, given a plush assignment as a courier. But that job turns out to be anything but when the high-speed train he boards happens to be populated by a bunch of other cut-throat assassins after the same thing. And what a cast - Joey King, Karen Fukuhara, Zazie Beetz, Sandra Bullock, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Hiroyuki Sanada, Brian Tyree Henry, Bad Bunny and Logan Lerman are just a few familiar faces that will show up along this ride from hell. This one looks like a blast and may be the last big film of the summer. Rated R for strong and bloody violence, pervasive language, and brief sexuality.

I don't know if you kids remember this one - but in the holiday classic Scrooged (Bill Murray - look it up and watch it sometime if you haven't) there is a trailer for what looks like a Z-grade action film where Santa's Workshop comes under attack and is saved by none other than LEE MAJORS. Now, the upcoming Violent Night follows the same basic premise - only switched around so Santa is the one kicking ass and saving people (also, nice play on words there). David Harbour (of Stranger Things fame) plays the titular Santa Claus and when a wealthy family is targeted by mercenaries on Christmas Eve, jolly old Saint Nick deals out a hefty dose of pain. My only hope is that someone gets coal shoved up - or down - an orifice before this night is over. The film also stars John Leguizamo, Cam Gigandet, Beverly D'Angelo, Alex Hassell, Edi Patterson and Brendan Fletcher (as Krampus - should be interesting). This film has an absolutely nutso premise and though I won't be watching in theaters, I think I will have to check it out sometime down the road, terrible or not. Rated R for strong bloody violence,
language throughout and some sexual references.

Those are the two big films for the week but you can check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:


Rated R for strong bloody war violence and grisly images.


Rated R for language/sexual reference.


Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexual references.


Rated R for strong and bloody violence, pervasive language and brief sexuality.


Rated PG for some suggestive material.


Rated R for sexual content, language and brief violence.


Rated PG-13 for some thematic material and language.


Rated G


Rated PG for some mild peril and thematic elements.


Rated PG for violence, action, language and some rude humor.


Rated PG-13 for some language including racial slurs and some smoking.


Rated PG-13 for sequences of action/violence, some language and brief suggestive comments. (Edited version re-rated for content).


Rated R for language and some violence.


Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual material.


Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references.


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