Pandemic? What pandemic?
Over its first three days, A Quiet Place Part II — the sequel to the 2018 low-budget horror hit — hauled in $48 million, just $2 million shy of the $50 million its predecessor made during its opening weekend two years ago. By the end of Monday, Part II‘s estimated $58 million will exceed the original’s four-day take by $4 million.
Easily the best opening of any movie since the COVID-19 pandemic began over a year ago (the previous best: Godzilla vs. Kong‘s $32 million in March 2021), A Quiet Place Part II exceeded initial projections by $15 to $20 million, proving that the theatrical experience remains a potential goldmine even after a year of theaters being decimated by global closures and numerous restrictions.
Emphasizing the value of what this means, Imax CEO Rich Gelfod contextualized Part II‘s numbers in even broader, more important terms, saying:
- “‘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.“
Granted, $58 million remains well below Memorial Day holiday weekend expectations in the 21st Century (which range more in the $90 million to $100 million-plus stratosphere), but those films are also generally mega-budget tentpoles, costing $150 to $200 million before marketing. A Quiet Place Part II, by contrast, was budgeted at a mere $61 million.
The fact that it will make that back by Day 5 in North America alone is a testament to the appeal of this mid-range franchise from director/actor John Krasinski, as well as to people’s desire to not surrender their moviegoing experiences strictly to the convenience and affordability of their own homes.
Memorial Day weekend’s other major opening was Disney’s Cruella, the 101 Dalmatians villain origin prequel starring Emma Stone in the title role. It also fared well, if not spectacularly so, taking in $21.3 million with a projected estimate of $26.5 million by the end of Monday. It’s worth noting that Cruella is simultaneously available on streamer Disney Plus for a $30 rental fee, which is inevitably eating into its box office ceiling. A Quiet Place Part II is exclusively in theaters.
This weekend will mark the first time since the pandemic that the total North American box office will pass $100 million for one weekend. That portends a very robust summer, one that could possibly see more delayed 2020 films options to reposition themselves back into theaters this summer from their current fall release dates. If these kind of numbers keep coming, don’t be shocked if that happens.