M3GAN is bloody good profitable fun, despite its PG-13 rating

M3GAN - Cr: Universal
M3GAN - Cr: Universal /

M3GAN hit theaters last Friday, and all week long, Twitter was twittering away, with some horror fans proclaiming their refusal to see a PG-13 horror film, and proclaiming that the film would be a huge failure. I had no such qualms, and attended a Saturday matinee, which I very much enjoyed.

I have seen several films in theaters over the past couple of years, and was shocked at the low turnout for big horror films like Scream and Halloween Kills. Honestly, M3GAN was the highest attended film I have personally attended since COVID nearly shut down the in-person theater experience.

I am not really sure why people equate PG-13 with a soft horror film, and just assume it can’t be fun or even scary. M3GAN definitely fit the “fun” bill, and I didn’t really feel it needed extreme gore to make it better; the kills were pretty inventive, and who wouldn’t wince watching that kid’s ear get stretched out? Ick.

Now that the dust has settled, it turns out the complainers were wrong, because M3GAN took in $30.2 million in North America on its opening weekend. That’s against a forecast of $17 – $20 million, which is a pretty impressive increase.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 04: A view of the atmosphere at a special NY screening of M3GAN on January 04, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Universal Pictures) /

Creative marketing helped M3GAN capture fans’ attention.

M3GAN was marketed in a genius manner, and that really helped drum up advance excitement about the film. First, there was that unsettling first trailer, which featured the now-viral (and very creepy) dance. Then, Chucky and Megan had a fun twitter war. A group of eight M3GAN lookalikes appeared during the film’s premiere in LA, as well as at various events, and even during a Today show interview with the film’s leading lady Allison Williams (you can watch that video below). It was brilliant, and all of this advance hype no doubt propelled the film into super-stardom. To put it in perspective, this film made back over twice its budget of $12 million…in its first weekend. Something tells me a sequel is already in the works!

To wrap up this little discussion, let’s go back to the PG-13 rating controversy again. I think those who eschew PG-13 horror are forgetting that the following excellent films received that rating: The Sixth Sense, Devil, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Insidious…the list could go on and on. I love a good gore fest just as much as the next horror fan, but I know that a film can be just as frightening (sometimes even more so) without gallons of blood. The story and the characters matter more than the gore.

So, if you have been avoiding M3GAN simply because it isn’t rated R, I beg you to give it a chance anyway. I think you may be pleasantly surprised!

Next. Horror actors who killed it in 2022 (part two). dark

Did you see M3GAN on its opening weekend? How do you feel about PG-13 horror movies? Tell us all about it in the comments section.