John Krasinski's A Quiet Place Part II has been a bulldozer at the box office since its premiere. Arriving it time for the Memorial Day holiday, the horror sequel put up some record-breaking numbers during its opening at the end of May, and then last week Jon M. Chu's In The Heights proved to be no match for it as it dominated in its second weekend. The film has provided some great signs for the return of the big screen experience, and it was the first release since the pandemic to make north of $100 million domestically – but now there has been a shift, as it no longer holds the distinction of being the "#1 Movie In America." Instead, that title now belongs to Patrick Hughes' The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard.
Initially meant to be a 2020 release, the action movie follow-up starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek has been delivered to theaters about four years after its predecessor, and according to Variety it has pulled in $11.6 million in its first Friday-to-Sunday. That number was big enough to push it ahead of A Quiet Place Part II's ticket sales, totaling $9.4 million in its third week, and the total increases to $17 million when you factor in its mid-week premiere – but the folks at Lionsgate may not be celebrating too raucously. The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard was made with a reported $70 million budget (which is on par with the first film), and its start is just slow enough to make one question whether or not it will ultimately be considered profitable/successful (The Hitman's Bodyguard made nearly double what the first one did when it opened).
For starters, it's not a movie that is operating with top notch buzz. Similar to the original, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard has not received a glowing response from critics, as it is sporting a rough 25 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. What's more, the surveys conducted by CinemaScore resulted in a middling "B" grade. If it doesn't have much word of mouth going, it's going to have a tough time demonstrating legs past its heavily-promoted premiere.
Unfortunately, it's a movie that could very much use a dose of "oh, you actually really should see it," as there is some massive box office competition coming down the pike in the next month. In the immediate future there is the forthcoming arrival of Justin Lin's F9, which is unquestionably the biggest blockbuster to drop in over a year. It has already been annihilating overseas, having made $270.6 million to date, but there is little doubt that it will be setting post-COVID-19 records when screenings start. That will then lead to the July 4th holiday, which will see the launch of Everardo Gout's The Forever Purge, and then on the other side of that there will be Cate Shortland's Black Widow – yet another massive title that audiences have been patiently/not-so-patiently waiting to see on the big screen.
Obviously what should eventually help boost the numbers for The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard are international ticket sales – though those numbers don't seem to be available at present. For what it's worth, The Hitman's Bodyguard made $101.1 million outside North America, so there is a potential audience for the sequel.
As for the rest of the Top 10, things continue to go from bad to worse where In The Heights is concerned. There was a lot of disappointment going around last week when the film only managed to make $11.4 million in its first three days, and sadly is doesn't sound like any attempt to "save" it is making an impact. The movie saw its ticket sales drop a rough 62 percent this weekend, and it's now sitting in sixth place overall. Will Gluck's Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway has taken over third place, having made an additional $6.1 million, and it is not yet known if either Michael Chaves' The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It or Craig Gillespie's Cruella will be in the fourth, as they are running neck-and-neck.
On the milestone front, Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong hit a massive benchmark this weekend. While it didn't have quite enough juice following its initial release in late March to become the first domestic release since the start of the pandemic to make over $100 million at the box office, it has now become the second title to accomplish that feat. To date the MonsterVerse blockbuster has made over $440 million worldwide.
Looking ahead, we know (as mentioned) that F9 will be taking over the box office charts next weekend – but the big question is in regard to just how well it will perform. Will it merely topple the opening weekend numbers put up by A Quiet Place Part II, or is it possible that it could mark a return to seeing a new release put up nine figures? We're excited to find out, and will have a rundown of the numbers for you here on CinemaBlend next Sunday.