“A Quiet Place Part II,” the horror sequel that had been delayed over a year due to the coronavirus, finally debuted in theaters last night in Thursday night previews from 3000 screens and earned $4.8 million.
It’s an impressive start as theaters climb out of the pandemic, and it was even higher than what the original grossed in its Thursday debut back in 2018, which was a $4.3 million Thursday night before opening to $50.2 million on just a $17 million production budget. “Part II” now opens at 3,728 locations Friday.
Disney’s “Cruella” also debuted in theaters on Thursday, and it earned $1.4 million, which might normally sound like a slow start for a Disney tentpole (though not necessarily during a pandemic), but the film is also dropping today for Premier Access for $30 on the Disney+ streaming service. It opens Friday on 3,892 locations.
In the case of “A Quiet Place,” the sequel is opening in slightly more theaters than its predecessor, but it has to contend with the fact that at least 20 states across the country still don’t have movie theaters at full capacity. Thursday night’s crowd had its top showings in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York, Phoenix, El Paso, Austin, Pharr TX, Albuquerque, Fresno and Dallas. And the 3000 screens it played on amounted to an average of $1,600 location average.
But reviews have been very strong with a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Fandango has reported that pre-sales are double what they were when the film was supposed to be released back in March 2020. And director John Krasinski has been doing a tour of theaters across the country showing preview screenings of the film.
All that said, Paramount is projecting “A Quiet Place Part II” to open to $30 million for the three-day weekend and $36 million when factoring in Memorial Day, while independent projections have the film pegged at $40 million, with a $50 million opening not being ruled out.
Krasinski returns as a writer and director for “A Quiet Place Part II,” which follows the Abbott family as they continue to struggle to survive against deadly alien creatures who attack when they detect any noise at all. Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe return along with cast newcomers Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou.
Independent projectors predict that “Cruella” not being exclusive to theaters will place it behind “A Quiet Place” at the box office this weekend, but it’s still expected to gross $20 million in its four-day opening. Reviews are also generally positive with a 72% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and Disney saw strong theatrical success with “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which also opened on Disney+ through Premier Access but has made $125 million worldwide, including $48.7 million domestic since opening in March.
“Cruella” stars Emma Stone as the “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella De Vil in an origin story set amid the fashion scene and punk movement of 1970s London. Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser and Mark Strong also star in the film, which is directed by Craig Gillespie from a script by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara.