Paramount’s “A Quiet Place – Part II” has given the Memorial Day weekend box office exactly the kind of boost theaters were hoping for. The horror sequel earned $19.3 million from 3,726 theaters on Friday — including $4.8 million from Thursday previews — and is now on pace to blow by all pre-release expectations with a $57 million 4-day weekend.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the box office because of COVID-19, studios have urged analysts not to compare this summer’s releases to past films. But “A Quiet Place — Part II” is currently on pace to nearly match the $50 million 3-day opening weekend of its 2018 predecessor, shrugging off the 50% theater auditorium capacity limit still present in California and about 20 other states. Projections for the film this week had been in the $40 million range for the 4-day period.
Reception for the sequel has also been very strong with critics, giving the film a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score while audiences have given it an A- on CinemaScore.
The strong numbers come as the nation’s three biggest theater chains — AMC, Regal and Cinemark — announced on Friday that customers would no longer be required to wear masks if they are vaccinated, following an advisory made by the CDC.
Also opening this weekend is Disney’s “Cruella,” which industry estimates currently project for a $26 million opening after earning $7.7 million from 3,892 locations on Friday. While that is normally a poor result for such a blockbuster, the film is also being made available as a $30 premium title for Disney+ subscribers, which is expected to provide an extra revenue boost for the film. Reception has been generally positive with a 73% Rotten Tomatoes critics score and an A on CinemaScore.