The filming seems more and more like it didn’t die during the pandemic. It just went into hibernation.
John Krasinski’s thriller sequel A Quiet Place Part II opened over Memorial Day weekend for a pandemic-best $48.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Including the Monday break, the studio predicts the film will gross $58.5 million in North America. It added another $22 million in ticket sales abroad.
The film’s performance applauded a film industry that has been punished and transformed by the pandemic. Set to open in March 2021 before theaters closed, Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place Part II was its first major film this year — and one of the few larger-budget, COVID-era releases alongside Christopher Nolan’s. Tenet – which opened exclusively in theaters.
Chris Aronson, head of distribution at Paramount, called the opening “an unqualified success.”
“It’s a huge sigh of relief and certainly a sense of optimism,” Aronson said. “Movies, cinema visits, cinemas are not dead. Yes, they are endangered, but they prove once again that they are resilient and that people do want to have that common experience.”
Many studios have mapped out hybrid release plans during the pandemic, debuting movies at home at the same time. The Walt Disney Co. did just that this weekend with its live-action PG-13 Cruella De Vil prequel, Cruella, making it available to Disney+ subscribers for $30. In theaters, it grossed $21.3 million, Disney said, and it’s estimated $26.4 million over the four-day weekend. Cruella also added $16.1 million in 29 international territories. Disney has not said how much the film made on the company’s streaming platform.
A Quiet Place II will also start streaming in theaters after 45 days when it becomes available on Paramount+. An obvious consequence of the pandemic is that the theater window has shrunk, probably permanently. Three months was once the usual length of a movie in the cinema. The previous best debut of the year was from Warner Bros.′ Godzilla vs. Kong, which opened with $32.2 million, or $48.5 million over its first five days, while simultaneously streaming on HBO Max.
The contrasting release strategies between A Quiet Place Part II and Cruella provided a test case for Hollywood. How much does a day-and-date release cost a movie like Cruella in ticket sales? Is it worth it? Without knowing how much Cruella has benefited Disney+, a true comparison is not possible. But the strong returns for the theater-only A Quiet Place Part II are telling, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for data company Comscore. He called it a “critical weekend” for the film industry that proved predictions of the cinema’s demise “blatantly wrong.”
“The fact that Quiet Place Part II did so well is a strong support that a first theatrical release for a major film is the right choice,” said Dergarabedian. “This is the best possible news for an industry that has faced arguably the most challenging chapter in cinema history.”
The debut of A Quiet Place Part II was widely watched throughout Hollywood as the kickoff of the postponed summer movie season. After largely sitting out the pandemic or switching to streaming platforms, another row of blockbusters is queuing up. On tap are Warner Bros.′ In the Heights, Universals’ F9 and Disney’s Black Widow.
Last week, Universal Pictures’ ninth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, F9, opened with $162 million in ticket sales in eight international markets and $135 million in China alone. In its second weekend, F9, which opens June 25 in North America, raced to $230 million worldwide.
A Quiet Place Part II had already had its red carpet premiere last March and has spent some of its marketing budget. But it opened remarkably in line with predictions of how many tickets it would sell before the start of the pandemic. In the intervening months, Paramount sold many of its films to streamers — Coming 2 America, The Trial of the Chicago 7 — but Krasinski and the studio strongly believed that the muted intensity of A Quiet Place Part II worked best on the big screen. screen.
In an interview prior to the film’s release, Krasinski said a theatrical release was “non-negotiable.” And Krasinski worked hard to spark the excitement, traveling the country in the week leading up to release to delight moviegoers. Still, given the circumstances, he had little idea whether there would be an audience.
“As bizarre as the entire year has been, however bizarre any opening weekend is,” Krasinski said. “I really don’t know what it is anymore.”
In the end, A Quiet Place Part II performed much like the first did. That 2018 hit, which eventually grossed $340 million worldwide on a $17 million budget, launched with $50.2 million in North American ticket sales. Follow-up stories usually do better than the original, but Part II had a lot more challenges due to the pandemic.
Rich Gelfond, chief executive of IMAX, where A Quiet Place Part II made $4.1 million domestically, called the film “the first domestic release this year to cross the threshold from ‘great opening weekend given the pandemic’ to ‘great opening weekend’.” , period of time. ‘”
Memorial Day weekend, usually one of the busiest for theaters, still didn’t look like it normally does at the cinema. The total box office was over $80 million, but that’s about a third of normal holiday weekend activity. Last Memorial Day, when nearly all operating rooms were drive-ins, ticket sales topped $842,000, according to Comscore.
Many theaters, especially in New York and Los Angeles, still operate with social distancing measures. But guidelines thaw. Last week, the nation’s top theater chains — AMC, Regal, Cinemark — said they would no longer require vaccinated moviegoers to wear face masks.