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The North American box office is loud once again.
John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II is making history over Memorial Day weekend, grossing $19.3 million on Friday alone from 3,752 theaters for a projected four-day weekend of $57 million. That includes a projected three-day gross in the $47 million range. All are the biggest domestic numbers in the pandemic-era.
Friday’s haul was well ahead of expectations and, more importantly, came in ahead of the first Quiet Place. The sequel’s showing is a huge victory for Paramount and Hollywood as the box office fights to come back to life after being sidelined and ravaged for 15 months by the coronavirus pandemic.
Heading into the weekend, most thought the ceiling for A Quiet Place II was $40 million.
The other major Memorial Day weekend release — Disney’s live-action Cruella — is doing solid business for a title that’s also available in the home. (It is launching simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney+ Premier Access for $30.)
Cruella grossed $7.7 million from 3,982 on Friday for a projected four-day domestic debut of $27 million-$30 million, likewise ahead of expectations. The family-friendly origin pic stars Emma Stone as the infamous Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians.
Quiet Place II has the advantage of getting an exclusive theatrical release before hitting sister streaming service Paramount+ in 45 days.
Krasinski’s film, starring Emily Blunt, earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences (the original got a B+), while Cruella received an A.
As the box recovers this summer, studios like Disney and Warner Bros. are still hedging their bets and experimenting with day-and-date releases on their respective streaming services (Warners more so than Disney).
Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong boasted the previous biggest bow of the pandemic era with a five-day debut of $48 million, including $30 million for the three-day weekend.
Overall Memorial Day weekend revenue will be north of $100 million, another boost for film and exhibition industries, considering the substantial challenges still facing the box office. Roughly 25 percent of theaters are still closed in North America. Many locations that are reopened face capacity restrictions.
The first Quiet Place, released in 2018, opened to $50.2 million in North America. The film moves into a total of 3,728 theaters on Friday.
Disney’s last live-action reimagining, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, opened to $37 million domestically.
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