Paramount’s ‘A Quiet Place’ made a lot of noise at the weekend box office, screaming past projections. The horror movie made a splashy debut at SXSW coming away with a remarkable 100% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. With a budget of $17 million, it was expected to open in the low $20Ms. Instead, it roared to more than double that with $50.4M. This is higher than some of the buzziest horror movies in recent years, ‘Get Out’ ($33.3M), and ‘Split’ ($40M) and higher than two would-be recent hits, ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ ($28M) and ‘Tomb Raider’ ($23.5M). In fact, if you subtract large format screens, like IMAX, etc., ‘A Quiet Place’ opened even better than ‘Ready Player One’ ($41.7M out of a $53.2M total). The last Paramount movie to open in this range was 2016’s ‘Star Trek Beyond’ which premiered with a $59.2M weekend, but that movie cost $185M to make, so the studio ended up viewing that movie as a box office disappointment. ‘A Quiet Place’ has already more than doubled its production budget.
90% of tickets were sold on the day of the show, not in advance, meaning that social media and word of mouth spread excitement for the picture and that it wasn’t planned as an event for most beforehand. PostTrak reports that exiting audiences, which are split pretty evenly between men and women, are giving ‘A Quiet Place’ four out of five stars. Its CinemaScore is decent ‘B+’ which is fairly typical for a horror movie, which audiences tend to grade more harshly than average. To put it in perspective, audiences gave the same score to huge hits ‘Split’ and ‘It’. ‘Get Out’ ranked slightly better at ‘A-‘.
Last week’s #1 movie, ‘Ready Player One’ dipped to #2, earning an additional $25.35M, which is a pretty solid hold, descending just 39% from last week. Going into the weekend, this movie had earned $300M worldwide, with $143M coming from China, the most a Warner Brothers flick has ever made there. Like ‘A Quiet Place’, ‘Ready Player One’ was unveiled at SXSW, where it received a rapturous reception. That buzz has helped both movies as well as this week’s third place finisher.
Universal’s R-rated adult comedy ‘Blockers’ took in $21.5M, which falls squarely within predictions. Following its SXSW screening, ‘Blockers’ saw its social media buzz swell past the average for raunchy comedies which is usually about 123M hashtags and “@s” to 158M. This is largely the result of star John Cena’s 65M+ followers.
According to social media analysis service RelishMix:
“Many Fans feel that John Cena is in the best shape when doing comedy roles like Daddy’s Home 2 and this is another fitting one. Also, as discussed in notables, the Beer-Butt-Chugging gag has piqued some comedy fans’ funny bones.”
The under 25 crowd are reacting favorably at 80% positive, but it just so happens that ‘A Quiet Place’ is also drawing that crowd, so it’s siphoning off some potential viewers from ‘Blockers’.
‘Black Panther’ and ‘Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’ rounded out the Top Five:
- A Quiet Place (Paramount) – $50.4M
- Ready Player One (Warner Brothers/Village Roadshow) – $25.35M
- Blockers (Universal) – $21.5M
- Black Panther (Disney) – $8.4M
- Tyler Perry’s Acrimony (Lionsgate) – $7.55M
Next weekend should be quiet. (No pun intended.) There’s the low-budget Lucy Hale-starring horror movie ‘Truth or Dare’, and the remake of ’80s comedy ‘Overboard’ looks to be opening in limited release before going wide on May 4th.