The Good House, Infinity Pool and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 09/21/22 at 01:18 PM CT

Although it wasn't exactly the year's biggest box office, at least September isn't going down in flames as a strong performance from The Woman King helped the box office to a $48.5 million weekend. While it's still the fourth worst for the year, it is a 13% increase over last week - a week that may turn out to be the lowest for this fall season as hopes are pinned on the upcoming Don't Worry Darling and comedy Bros to keep things afloat until Halloween Ends hits in October. The MPAA Ratings Board once again is light on content, so I'll have to stretch to offer some good news.

This week, however it was The Woman King, led by Viola Davis, the historical West African epic hit all the right notes with a $19 million opening. That was well above estimations and, even better, was the response with a 94% Fresh rating from critics and a rare "A+" Cinemascroe from audiences. The only other film to open with an "A+" this year was Top Gun: Maverick - and that can only mean good news going forward. People were also eager to see this on the biggest of screens as IMAX and large format made up 34% of the film's grosses. This one should have some legs - and maybe even some awards-season hopes - and we'll see how it plays out in the coming weeks but it should have no problem hitting its $50 million budget mark.

In second place last week's horror sensation Barbarian dipped 38.4%, which is a strong hold for a horror title (by comparison, Jordon Peele's Nope dropped 58% in its second weekend) and means that even though the Cinemascore was low, enough buzz surrounded this that people were eager to check it out. With another $6.5 million in the bank, Barbarian now has a $21.11 million total - more than double its estimated $10 million budget. We'll see if the buzz continues to give this one even longer legs.

In third place was another horror entry, Ti West's X prequel, Pearl. Mia Goth once again stars as the isolated farm girl looking for an escape - no matter the cost. The film opened to $3.12 million - a bit below the $4.28 million opening for X but, like that film, the budget on this is probably as low as X, which was only $1 million. Considering it was filmed secretly after X, it might even be lower. The trilogy is going to be rounded out by MaXXXine in the near future but West looks to have an indie horror hit series on his hands.

The fourth place spot went to murder-mystery See How They Run. Set in 1950s London, that adaptation of hit stage play into a film comes to a standstill when leading man Leo Kopernick (Adrian Brody) is found murdered. World-weary detective Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) find themselves on the case with any number of suspects including the star of the play, Richard Attenborough (Harris Dickinson) to screenwriter Mervyn Cocker-Norris (David Oyelowo), who Kopernick knows is having an affair with his assistant. The list goes on and on as the film is packed with characters - and the $3 million it made is not eye-popping but better than the $2.8 million opening of Nightmare Alley. The film did better in the UK where it had has been number one for two weekends in a row leading to a global tally of $7.6 million.

Rounding out the top five was Bullet Train, dipping just 23% from last weekend for a $2.55 million weekend and a new $96.4 million total. The film is still on track to hit $100 million as it has chugged along just find since opening. It has a global total of $222 million as well.

Outside the top five: There were plenty of other semi-wide and limited releases with the David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream coming out on top with $1.23 million (10th place) from just 170 theater for the weekend's best per-theater average at $7,236 per.

Faith-based Running the Bases opened to $538,749 (16th place) from just over 1000 theaters and Thandiwe Newton's God's Country failed to spark much excitement with just $279,928 (19th place) out of 785 theaters.

Next weekend we'll see if all the controversy surrounding Don't Worry Darling leads to some decent returns while we also get the re-release of Avatar before the big sequel drops this December along with family drama The Railway Children Return.

MPAA Official Logo

It's slim pickings this week, but at least there's a bit of controversy to go along with a rather mundane list. But to start things off, I'll go with the limited release that could go wide.

For the feel-good, adult-driven drama that should bring out a crowd less likely to hit theaters, count on Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver to help make The Good House a rare adult-driven hit. Based on the best-selling book from Ann Leary, the film follows New England realtor Hildy Good (Weaver) - descendant of Salem Witches, lover of wine and secrets and whose fully compartmentalized life is about to come undone when an old flame from her past, Frank Getchell (Kline) shows up and upends things. Soon family secrets and long-buried emotions come to the surface and Hildy is forced to face the one person she never wanted to face: herself. The film co-stars Morena Baccarin, Rob Delaney, David Rasche, Rebecca Henderson, Molly Brown and Kathryn Erbe. This is exactly the kind of film that is made to get adults back into theaters and we'll see if it succeds this fall. Rated R for brief sexuality and language.

Brandon Cronenberg (son of noted body horror enthusiast David Cronenberg) made a splash as director with the unsettling Possessor and he's moving right along with Infinity Pool. Because the film doesn't have a release date yet, I can't link to it but I AM going to talk about it because the film, starring Mia Goth, Alexander SkarsgÄrd, Cleopatra Coleman, Thomas Kretschmann, Amanda Brugel and John Ralston is the rare film to received an outright NC-17 designated rating. Now, it does plan to appeal but the premise - about a couple who discover their island paradise getaway hides some hedonistic and horrifying secrets - looks intriguing and now I really want to see how far this pushes things. Possessor was definitely unique and now I want to see if this Cronenberg can live up to other. Rated NC-17 (for now) for some graphic violence and sexual content.

That's the main course this week but you can check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:

THE AMAZING MAURICE

Rated PG for action/peril and some rude material.


THE AMBUSH

Rated R for violence.


ASSASSIN

Rated R for violence and language.


THE BARKERS: MIND THE CATS

Rated G


CARMEN

Rated R for language, some violence and nudity.


DIMENSIONS OF SELF

Rated R for language.


THE GOOD HOUSE

Rated R for brief sexuality and language.


HUNTED

Rated R for violence and language.


INFINITY POOL

Rated NC-17 for some graphic violence and sexual content.


LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER

Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and some language.


PROJECT LEGION

Rated R for some language, sexuality and violence.

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