After 16 months of mostly flops and disappointment, Paramount has scored its first big box office victory under new CEO Jim Gianopulos with “A Quiet Place,” the critically-acclaimed horror film from John Krasinski. Made on a $17 million budget, the film made $18.9 million on Friday and is exceeding even the most optimistic of pre-weekend tracker expectations with an estimated opening of $45-47 million from 3,508 screens.
Since its premiere at SXSW, “A Quiet Place” has been a smash hit with critics who fell in love with the performances from Krasinski; his wife, Emily Blunt; Noah Jupe; and “Wonderstruck” star Millicent Simmonds. With a 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film’s word of mouth has peaked at the right time with only 10 percent of its audience coming from advance ticket sales, according to comScore/ScreenEngine’s Postrak.
Over this past week, trackers raised their expectations from $25 million to as much as $35 million, but “A Quiet Place” will beat that soundingly with a start bigger than the $33 million for “Get Out” or the $40 million of “Split,” two films that were part of a plethora of horror hits last year. An opening above $45 million will give Paramount its biggest opening weekend since July 2016, when “Star Trek: Beyond” made $59 million.
Audiences gave the film a B+ on CinemaScore, which should put it in a good position to perform over the next three weeks, with the chance of beating the $130 million made domestically by “Transfomers: The Last Knight” last year.
Taking second this weekend is Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s “Ready Player One,” which is on pace for a solid second weekend total of $22-23 million after making $6.8 million on its second Friday. That would be about a 45 percent drop from its $41 million Friday-Sunday opening, hitting studio hopes of keeping the weekend drop below 50 percent.
“RP1” crossed the $300 million mark globally on Thursday while bucking the decline of 3D in theaters with 56 percent of that worldwide gross coming from 3D ticket sales. The film has been a hit in China, becoming WB’s biggest release ever with $143 million and counting.
In third place is Universal’s comedy “Blockers,” which is on pace to hit tracker expectations with an opening of $19-20 million from 3,379 screens. Directed by “Pitch Perfect” writer Kay Cannon, the film has done well with critics with an 82 percent Rotten Tomatoes score while earning a B from CinemaScore audiences. The film made $4.8 million on opening night.
This is another solid result for R-rated comedies, which largely struggled last year save for a few notable exceptions like “Girls’ Trip.” This start for “Blockers” would top the $17 million opening made in February by “Game Night,” which went on to post a 3.88x multiple with $66.1 million grossed domestically and $103 million grossed worldwide against a $37 million budget. With a $20 million budget, “Blockers” should be even more profitable for Universal, which released “Girls Trip” successfully last summer on the same budget and grossed $140 million worldwide.
In fourth place is “Black Panther,” which is looking at an eighth weekend total of $9.1 million. Today, the Marvel film will pass the unadjusted domestic gross of “Titanic” to take the No. 3 spot on the all-time domestic charts. “Titanic” has a lifetime domestic gross of $659 million, though that adjusts to $1.24 billion after inflation.
“Tyler Perry’s Acrimony” completes the top five with an estimated $7.7 million in its second weekend. Outside the top five is Entertainment Studios’ “Chappaquiddick,” which is opening slightly above expectations with $5.4 million from 1,580 screens. Reviews have been mostly positive with an 80 percent RT score, while audiences were a bit more split on the political biopic with a B on CinemaScore. Finally LD Entertainment’s inspirational sports film “The Miracle Season” is opening outside the top ten with a $4 million start from 1,707 locations.