(Adds details, quotes)
LOS ANGELES, May 30 (Variety.com) - You can almost hear the
collective sigh of relief from studio executives across
After a brutal year and change for the movie theater
business, the North American box office is finally showing signs
of life again.
That's mostly thanks to John Krasinski's post-apocalyptic
thriller "A Quiet Place Part II." The sequel collected a roaring
$48 million between Friday and Sunday, exceeding expectations
and posting the biggest three-day haul of the pandemic era. The
Paramount Pictures film, currently playing in 3,726 venues, is
expected to generate a sizable $58 million through Memorial Day
Those ticket sales are significant because it's not far off
from what the movie was projected to make prior to the pandemic.
(The sequel was originally set to release in March of 2020, and,
well, we all know what happened then.) The original "A Quiet
Place" opened to $50 million in 2018, a huge result for a movie
that's not based on existing IP. The studio's decision to hold
the follow-up film until theaters reopened to a significant
degree proved to be prudent.
"This is an outstanding opening," says David A. Gross, who
runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research.
"[It's] well above average for a horror sequel." He adds that "A
Quiet Place Part II" could have debuted to $60 million if all
U.S. theaters had reopen. "Still," Gross says, "this movie is
going to make a lot of money and bring enormous value to
"A Quiet Place Part II," which sees the return of Emily
Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe as a family forced to
live in near-silence, has the benefit of getting an exclusive
theatrical release. It will move to Paramount Plus, the
streaming service owned by its parent company ViacomCBS, in 45
days. Recent releases, including the Warner Bros. and Legendary
tentpole "Godzilla vs. Kong" and Disney's "Raya and the Last
Dragon," premiered simultaneously on digital platforms. Despite
its hybrid rollout on HBO Max, "Godzilla vs. Kong" previously
boasted the best start since COVID-19 hit with $32 million for
the three-day weekend and $48 million in its first five days on
the big screen.
"A Quiet Place Part II" did exceptionally well on premium
formats, like Imax. Of its $58 million four-day weekend bounty,
a (pandemic) record $5 million came from Imax screens.
As Imax CEO Rich Gelfod put it: "'A Quiet Place Part II' is
the first domestic release this year to cross the threshold from
'great opening weekend given the pandemic' to 'great opening
weekend, period' -- offering undeniable proof that the domestic
box office is back." He continued, "The film's stellar results
give the box office a strong jolt of momentum heading into the
summer, and the many blockbusters that held out for an exclusive
theatrical release stand to benefit."
This weekend's other major release, Disney's live-action
"Cruella" starring Emma Stone, pulled in promising numbers for a
movie that's currently playing in homes. (It's available to rent
on Disney Plus for $30.) The movie, a punk rock origin story
about the infamous puppy-hating "101 Dalmatians" villain, is
estimated to bring in $21.3 million from 3,892 theaters over the
three-day weekend and $26.5 million through Monday.
Internationally, "Cruella" has posted $16.1 million from 29
overseas countries. That brings its total earnings to $37.4
million globally, with projections of $42.6 million through
Over Memorial Day weekend, one of the most popular times of
year to visit the movies, overall revenues in the U.S. will be
above $100 million for the first time in more than a year,
according to Comscore. Around 75% of U.S. theaters have
reopened, with many locations still facing capacity
Elsewhere at the domestic box office, the horror film
"Spiral" -- starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson -- slid to
third place in its third weekend of release. The chilling
installment in the gruesome "Saw" franchise added another $2.1
million, taking its U.S. tally to $20 million.
Jason Statham's "Wrath of Man" landed in fourth place with
$2 million. After a month in theaters, the vigilante action
adventure has grossed $22.7 million.
"Raya and the Last Dragon" rounded out the top five on box
office charts. The family friendly cartoon made $1.9 million in
its 13th weekend of release. The PG film, which has been offered
on Disney Plus Premier Access, has amassed $51 million to date.