Weekend Box Office: 'A Quiet Place' Scores Huge $19M Friday for $45M-Plus Debut
Elsewhere, the R-rated comedy 'Blockers' is on course for a $20 million opening, while Ted Kennedy scandal pic 'Chappaquiddick' is beating expectations.
Paramount's A Quiet Place — a high-concept horror-thriller directed by John Krasinski that has virtually no dialogue — is booming at the North American box office, earning a huge $19 million from 3,508 theaters on Friday.
The Platinum Dunes-produced movie is now on course to open to $45 million-plus, one of the best starts ever for a genre horror title and a needed win for Paramount. It's also the second-best debut of the year so far behind Black Panther. Friday's haul included a stellar $4.3 million in Thursday previews.
In addition to directing duties, Krasinski also stars in A Quiet Place opposite real-life wife Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe. Heading into the weekend, A Quiet Place, rated PG-13, was tracking to open to $20 million-$25 million. Sporting a 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, the $17 million movie follows a family of four who must remain silent to ward off mysterious creatures that hunt by sound. It earned a B+ CinemaScore, a great grade for a horror film.
Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is holding well in its second weekend. The film looks to drop less than 45 percent to an estimated $23 million from 4,234 locations for an 11-day domestic total of $95 million-plus.
Ready Player One will come in second, followed by the latest R-rated comedy from Universal, Blockers.
Blockers grossed $7.4 million Friday from 3,379 cinemas for a projected $20 million debut. That's a solid showing considering the comedy slump that has derailed a number of titles the past two years.
Helmed by screenwriter Kay Cannon in her feature directorial debut, Blockers is a raunchy, coming-of-age tale about a group of teenagers determined to lose their virginity on prom night. The big hitch: Their parents learn of their plan. Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz and John Cena star alongside Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Indira Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon.
Both Blockers and A Quiet Place staged their world premieres at the SXSW festival, as did Ready Player One. Blockers earned a B CinemaScore, and currently sports an 83 percent Rotten Tomatoes Score.
The two other films opening nationwide this weekend — Ted Kennedy scandal pic Chappaquiddick and The Miracle Season — are headed for far more modest openings.
However, director John Curran's Chappaquiddick, recounting the 1969 car accident that forever damaged Kennedy's presidential aspirations, is doing better than expected. The movie grossed an estimated $1.8 million-plus on Friday from 1,560 theaters for a projected weekend debut of $5 million (tracking had showed Chappaquiddick coming in at $2 million-$4 million).
Chappaquiddick — which is playing notable older, with 56 percent of ticket buyers over the age of 45, including 40 percent over 50 — stars Jason Clarke as Kennedy and Kate Mara as Mary Jo Kopechne, the young political aide who was left to drown after Kennedy drove his car off a tiny bridge in 1969.
The film's Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 79 percent, while A Miracle Season's score is 36 percent. Chappaquiddick received a B CinemaScore, and Miracle Season, an A.
The Miracle Season, directed by Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer), tells the inspirational story of a Midwestern volleyball squad dealing with the death of their team leader. Helen Hunt, William Hurt, Erin Moriarty and Danika Yarosh star. The film grossed $1.4 million Friday for an estimated $4.1 million debut.
April 6, 12:40 p.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.
April 7, 7;40 a.m. Updated with Friday grosses and revised weekend estimates.