Guardians 3, John Wick 4 and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 03/15/23 at 11:21 AM CT

Over the weekend, Scream VI dominated the box office thanks to a franchise-best opening. The dinosaur action/adventure 65 opened a bit soft and the feel-good Champions fell just shy of the top five. Creed III crossed the $100 million mark while Quantumania continued its freefall. Overall the box office had another $100 million plus total weekend - a good sign as the rest of March also looks strong for releases.

After Creed III gave the franchise (and overall Rocky films) it's best opening, Scream VI did the same thing for its long-running series. With a $44.4 million weekend, Scream VI easily topped Scream 3 ($34.7 million) as the best opening in the franchise. The New York-set horror film sees the return of Jenna Ortega (having a red-hot year following her turn in Wednesday), Melissa Barrera and Mason Gooding - with Scream vets Courteney Cox, Skeet Ulrich and Hayden Panettiere making an appearance as well. The furor over the reported snub of Neve Campbell doesn't seem to have made much of a difference as critics gave it a 76% Fresh with audiences giving it a solid "B+" average. All told, that puts Scream VI on a trajectory for a $100 million plus run and with $22.6 million overseas the $35-million film is going to make a decent amount of bank in the end.

Speaking of Creed III, the sequel took a 53.3% hit in its second weekend but that $27.2 million it added was just enough for the film to cross the $100 million mark with a new $101.4 million total. It's running $10 million ahead of Creed II and still looks on track to hit $150 million by the time it ends hits run.

In third place the epic future-meets-past mashup 65, starring Adam Driver as an astronaut who crash-lands on Earth circa the age of dinosaurs, opened with a $12.32 million weekend. This was a film that didn't screen for critics - never a good sign - and it scored a rotten 37% by the time they did roll out. Audiences were on the same page giving it just a "C+" Cinemascore and taking the two together, the long-term prospects of this one seem slim. It earned an additional $8.3 million overseas. That gives it over $20 million worldwide - and giving the film only cost $45 million it may lose only a little money instead of hemorrhaging a lot of cash.

Down in fourth place, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania fell another 44.3% for a $7.1 million weekend and a new $198.1 million total. That makes it just the 10th film in the MCU to fail to hit the $200 million mark in its first 24 days. It is still pacing just ahead of Ant-Man and the Wasp - though it has fallen behind its week-to-week totals. We'll see if it can ultimately top the film in the end as its domestic total still points to around $220-$225 million. Still, it may become the rare MCU film to fail to hit $500 million global as it sits just shy of $450 million at this point.

Rounding out the top five, Cocaine Bear took a 43.9% bite but added another $6.2 million over the weekend for a new $51.7 million domestic total, crossing the $50 million mark in the process. Elizabeth Banks' off-the-rails action/comedy is on track to hit $65-$70 million total and if it can get a bigger bump overseas (it has $14 million thus far) should turn a small profit and open the floodgates for more drug-addled beasts in the years ahead.

Outside the top five: Champions, starring Woody Harrelson as a hot-headed coach who finds himself in hot water and must make up by coaching a team of developmentally-disabled adults, came in 6th place just ahead of Jesus Revolution ($5.13 million) with a $5.14 million debut. While critics gave it a slightly rotten 56%, audiences were much more receptive handing it an "A" Cinemascore. Still, for director Bobby Farrelly, it comes in under the $5.5 million opening of Kingpin as the lowest opening for either of the brothers.

This week Shazam! Fury of the Gods should be able to top the box office but signs look to be pointing towards a more modest opening for the DCEU sequel.

MPAA Official Logo

Since we're all in the mood for sequels doing better than their predecessors right now, the MPAA Ratings Board has decided to give us even more in their update. We have the next MCU offering (which will hopefully turn out MUCH better than the Quantumania outcome) and Keanu Reeves once again delving into the world's most put-upon ex-assassin/hitman/absolute badass.

Given the current trajectory of the MCU, it may be hard to feign much excitement for upcoming films and/or TV series. But if there is one franchise that can help turn some frowns upside down, it has to be The Guardians of the Galaxy. The oddball crew has always been a crowd-pleaser and given us a kick-ass soundtrack to boot, so here's hoping Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 can turn things around and deliver some good news for the MCU. All our old friends are here - Peter Quill (Peter Quill) still struggling with the loss of the OG Gamora (Zoe Saldana), whose alternate-dimension counterpart is a far cry from his love. He has a buffed-up Groot (still Vin Diesel saying his one line in various intonations), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) on his side, but just can't shake out of the blues. That's too bad, because a shadow from Rocket's past - the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) is making his own plans while the Sovereign, still led by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) release their own weapon in the form of Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) to finally exact their own revenge. It means an uncertain future for our team - if they can manage to survive. While that seems a bit heavy for the Guardians franchise - it also seems appropriate. This is the last film for the team as a whole - and it remains to be seen how any of them will be incorporated into the future MCU. Still, I will be more than happy to see this franchise come to a spectacular end - and all the beat of another memorable soundtrack. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, strong language, suggestive/drug references and thematic elements.

It's a rare franchise where each sequel does better than its predecessors, but that is just what the John Wick series has done. John Wick hit $43 million domestic, $86 million worldwide - its sequel hit $92 million domestic and $171.5 million worldwide and the third entry boasted a whopping $171 million domestic and over $328 million worldwide. Now Keanu Reeves returns for John Wick: Chapter 4 and we'll see if we can keep that momentum going. This fourth chapter once again has our hero facing seemingly insurmountable odds as he takes on The High Table and looks to earn the right to his freedom once and for all. His globe-trotting adventure looks to be full of familiar faces (Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick and Ian McShane) and well as deadly new adversaries in the form of the calculating Marquis (Bill Skarsgård) and dangerous Caine (Donnie Yen). We also get Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Rina Sawayama and even Clancy Brown thrown in for good measure. By the trailer, the series looks to keep the action where we expect - lots of hand-to-hand, gun fights and car chases. If there is one thing the films do right, it's keeping the action consistent and high-octane - this is by far my favorite action series of the modern (post-2000) age - it's just so damn fun yet doesn't shy away from its violence. Can number 4 top the showing of part 3? It may be more difficult this time around, but never bet against John Wick. Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some language.

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


Rated R for language throughout and some sexual content/graphic nudity.


Rated PG-13 for thematic material.


Rated R for language, some violence/bloody images and brief sexual content.


Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, strong language, suggestive/drug references and thematic elements.


Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some language.


Rated PG-13 for action/violence.


Rated PG for action/violence and brief thematic material.


Rated R for violence, some language and brief drug use.


Rated R for language throughout, violence, sexual material and brief drug use.


Rated R for language.


Rated PG for mild rude humor and language.


Rated PG for mild language, peril and thematic elements.


Rated R for language and violence.


Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some drug use.


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