Back in early March 2020, audiences everywhere were all kinds of geared up to see John Krasinski's A Quiet Place Part II. It was set to arrive in theaters about two years after its predecessor wound up being a massive hit, and people were hotly anticipating the follow-up's arrival on the big screen. But it didn't happen. Three days after the film's New York City premiere and nine days before it went wide, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, and as a result the movie had to be pushed. As it turns out, though, the delay only served to raise excitement for the sequel, because now it is finally playing in locations around the world, and it has instantly become one of the most successful new features to be released in the last year.
The early numbers for the Memorial Day weekend are in, and according to The Hollywood Reporter A Quiet Place Part II is looking at a $48.4 million three-day gross, and by the end of tomorrow it is estimated that it will be sitting at approximately $58.5 million earned domestically. That, to say the least, is monumental. For context, that total eclipses what Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong pulled in during its five-day opening weekend at the end of March, and that A) was a record-setter, and B) is a movie that cost between $155–200 million to make. The John Krasinski-directed horror film, meanwhile, had a reported budget of just $61 million, meaning it is well on its way to being considered profitable – even while theaters are still operating at limited capacity around the country and many remain closed.
It's a great sign for the industry's healing, especially when you put the numbers side by side with the original A Quiet Place. The April 2018 release made $50.2 million in its first three days, and while Hollywood typically looks for sequels to out-gross their predecessors, this is a case where seeing them do even business is a sign that things are bouncing back. Knowing that cinemas can't totally fill their auditoriums is an understood handicap at this point, and so seeing Part II make just as much money as Part I means that it easily would have outpaced it under normal circumstances. There is even a sense that the film could make just as much money in the long run, and that would be wonderful after a year of seeing studios treat releasing titles in theaters like a desperate sacrifice to the movie gods.
Even better? This weekend at the box office wasn't just a one-horse race, as A Quiet Place Part II had some very real competition to face off against. Not only did the horror sequel have to deal with the pressure of trying to match the original, but it also had to draw audiences away from director Craig Gillespie's more family-friendly Cruella – which also dropped in theaters this past Friday. As of right now, the live-action Disney prequel starring Emma Stone is looking at a total of $21.3 million for Friday-to-Sunday, and it is expected to tack on an additional $5.2 million during tomorrow's holiday. Combined with the money made by John Krasinski's film and you clearly had a lot of people going to see action on the big screen the last few days. Hopefully it will be one of many to come
Of course, Cruella's release does come with an asterisk that could explain why A Quiet Place Part II was able to double its box office earnings: it wasn't only available in theaters. The villain-centric period piece was also made available for Premier Access on Disney+ on Friday, which almost certainly had a significant impact on ticket sales. Would it have been possible for the movie to top the charts if it weren't simultaneously available online? It's hard to say without knowing how well the new release did as far as digital sales go (numbers haven't been released), but it's definitely an interesting situation to look at as the entertainment industry moves forward after the pandemic and the relationship between cinemas and streamers continue to evolve. For example, is Disney as a blockbuster studio going to be okay not producing "#1 box office hits" if it means that they are quietly making tons of cash charging an extra $30 to their subscribers?
It should additionally be noted that things are going quite well for both films abroad as well. A Quiet Place Part II – which is now playing in China among other foreign territories – has made $70.4 million abroad already, which brings its worldwide figures into nine digits (the first A Quiet Place pulled in $340.9 million by the time it was done playing on the big screen). Cruella has managed to make $16.1 million from foreign markets, which means that after tomorrow it will be looking at a gross of approximately $42.6 million thus far (the movie's reported budget is $105 million).
Where do things go from here? We're terrifically excited to find out, as even more competition is coming down the pike in a few days. Following Simon McQuoid's Mortal Kombat, Warner Bros. is now preparing their next theatrical/HBO Max release with Michael Chaves' The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, which will be out on Friday, June 4, and we will also be seeing Dreamworks Animation's Spirit Untamed playing on the big screen. What will happen when the new movies do battle with A Quiet Place Part II and Cruella? Will it be an overload of horror and family friendly entertainment at the box office, or will everything be able to make money?
It's hard to say at this point, but regardless it definitely seems like the real winners will be both theaters and audiences. Be sure to check back here next Sunday to find out how everything shakes out – and to discover everything that is coming up in the next few weeks/months, be sure to check out both our Summer 2021 movie schedule, as well as our 2021 Movie Release Calendar.