Hollywood film studios have reason to celebrate again. After a year of movie theater closures and a huge shift to streaming, the U.S. box office is coming back to life after “A Quiet Place Part II” dominated the weekend with $48 million. It is looking to add another $10 million on Memorial Day.
For a horror sequel, this exceeds expectations, according to David A. Gross, who runs Franchise Entertainment Research. Talking to Variety, Gross said, “This movie is going to make a lot of money and bring enormous value to streaming.”
“A Quiet Place Part II” weekend haul gives it the highest three-day box office in the pandemic, showing signs of a movie theater business bouncing back. Not only that, John Krasinski’s film is also perfectly designed for the theater, with edge of seat suspense and unparalleled sound design.
Unlike Warner Bros., who is releasing all their films on HBO Max the same day, Paramount is giving their films a 45-day exclusive theatrical window before adding it to Paramount Plus. This exclusivity window likely helped “A Quiet Place Part II” generate excitement for a return to movie theaters.
“Cruella,” starring Emma Stone, also debuted this weekend. But unlike “A Quiet Place Part II” exclusivity window, “Cruella” is available at home on Disney Plus for a $30 premium. Despite it playing in homes, “Cruella” looks likely to rope in $26.5 million from the long weekend (through Memorial Day). This is another encouraging sign that the U.S. box office is expanding back up to size.
Although the overall numbers fall short for a typical Memorial Day weekend, it will be the first time the domestic box office has posted numbers above $100 million in over a year. With a summer of big releases coming, the U.S. box office looks poised to jump into fourth gear.