Box Office: Fans Want to See Family, Moral Content as They Return to Theaters
By Movieguide® Staff
As the Box Office looks to return to a sense of normalcy, moral content and pro-family values lead the way.
Paramount’s A QUIET PLACE PART II became the highest-grossing movie in the pandemic with a robust theatrical opening and no release on a significant streamer.
The movie, created by and starring John Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt, reached a total of $109.3M this past weekend, barely ousting Lin Manuel Miranda’s new musical IN THE HEIGHTS for the top spot.
According to Box Office Mojo, Warner Bros.’s IN THE HEIGHTS earned 11.5M over the weekend, followed closely by PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY.
A QUIET PLACE PART II and PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY were released with a theatrical window, while Warner Bros.’s deal with the streamer HBO Max means that IN THE HEIGHTS is day-and-date for the first 31 days.
However, the top three movies prove Movieguide®’s claim that movies with moral, biblical, and family-friendly content lead box office numbers, pandemic or not.
While many exhibitors and studios wrestle with the question of how to expedite a box office recovery, it is clear that content has the power to deter or attract audiences.
A portion of Movieguide®’s review of each of the top three movies this weekend read (Number for the weekend of Jun 11-13):
- A QUIET PLACE PART II (11.7M): A QUIET PLACE PART II is a visceral, gripping, ultimately uplifting thriller that never lets up. PART II isn’t a didactic movie. The movie conveys its themes and messages by the action instead of the dialogue. As such, the movie sends a pro-life message that promotes family, parenthood, and risking your life to save others from deadly, desperate situations. A QUIET PLACE PART II does, however, contain some brief foul language, violence, and many scary moments. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children and other sensitive viewers.
- IN THE HEIGHTS (11.4M): IN THE HEIGHTS is engaging and entertaining, with fun musical numbers and great, eye-popping visuals. The movie has a strong Romantic worldview where characters chase after their personal dreams. This is mitigated, however, by some Christian, moral and pro-capitalist values such as family, helping other people realize their potential, hard work, and positive references to Jesus, faith, and patience. That said, IN THE HEIGHTS contains more than 30 obscenities and profanities, some politically correct content, some sexual references, and a metaphorical comment about hearing the voices of the gods. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for IN THE HEIGHTS.
- PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY (10.4): PETER RABBIT 2 is magical, funny, exciting, and suspenseful, with seamless computer graphics. Although there’s stealing, Peter is like a new Christian who lets the world define who he is by who he used to be instead of who he has become. Besides its Christian, redemptive allegory, PETER RABBIT 2 extols family, friendship, forgiveness, and doing the right thing. However, it also has lots of slapstick violence, some possible Romantic elements and a female pastor in a wedding scene. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children.
The pro-family themes and lack of gratuitous violence and sex attracted a broader audience and beat out other recent releases like THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (10M), THE WRATH OF MAN, and SPIRAL.
While many claim that horror releases will command the summer box office, A QUIET PLACE PART II far surpassed its genre partners due to its emphasis on traditional family values.
“Clearly with studios banking big on horror — with eight such films between now and Oct. 15 set for wide release — they are expecting that the younger demographic, for whom the genre is like cinematic catnip, to drive revenue along with the typical summer action fare as well,” Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian said. “The long-term success for movie theaters, however, will depend on attracting all demographics to the big screen. Adult dramas, along with musicals and independent films, will be the key to get the industry on the road back to a marketplace approximating pre-pandemic box office levels.”
As theaters look to fill seats, audiences are hungry for moral and uplifting content.