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“Box Office Roars as ‘A Quiet Place’ Prequel Outperforms Expectations and Costner’s Western Struggles”

In an impressive turn of events, Paramount’s latest installment in the “A Quiet Place” franchise, titled “A Quiet Place: Day One,” has made significant waves at the box office. The much-anticipated prequel raked in an estimated $53 million during its debut weekend in North American theaters, as per studio estimates released this past Sunday. This figure not only surpasses the franchise’s previous records but also exceeds initial projections by a wide margin. Pre-release tracking had estimated a $40 million opening, but the actual earnings indicate that audiences were markedly more excited to see the film starring Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn.

However, despite its spectacular performance, “A Quiet Place: Day One” didn’t manage to clinch the top spot in the box office rankings. That accolade went once again to Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” which garnered an estimated $57.4 million in its third weekend. This latest haul has pushed “Inside Out 2” past the $1 billion mark globally, establishing it as a box-office juggernaut.

There remains a slim chance that the rankings could shift when the final numbers are confirmed on Monday. Regardless, the performances of these films spell good news for the summer box office season, which has been struggling to regain its pre-pandemic momentum, still lagging 19% behind last year and 36% below 2019 levels.

“Inside Out 2” continues to break barriers and set records. In just three weeks, the animated sequel has amassed nearly $470 million in North America and an additional $545.5 million internationally, taking its global total to an astounding $1.01 billion. Remarkably, it is the only 2024 release to reach this milestone, and it did so in just 19 days—a record for an animated film.

Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “The film’s stunning global success once again illustrates that audiences the world over will respond to compelling, entertaining movies and that they want to enjoy them on the big screen.”

The success of “A Quiet Place: Day One” is also remarkable on several fronts. Directed by Michael Sarnoski and rated PG-13, the movie is closing in on significant financial milestones right from the start. When combined with the $45.5 million it earned from international screenings across 59 markets, the film’s revenue reaches almost $98.5 million. Considering its production budget of $67 million, this is a robust start.

Chris Aronson, Paramount’s head of domestic distribution, highlighted the passionate fanbase for the franchise, stating, “There’s a lot of love for the A Quiet Place franchise. We listened to the fans who wanted to expand the universe.”

Not only did “Day One” open higher than its predecessors—”A Quiet Place” ($50.2 million in April 2018) and “A Quiet Place: Part II” ($47.5 million in May 2021)—but it also enjoyed favorable critical reception with an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a B+ CinemaScore from audiences, and four out of five stars on PostTrak. A noteworthy 40% of its domestic revenue came from premium screens such as IMAX, showing that audiences are willing to pay extra for a high-quality viewing experience.

“We put together a compelling package but also I think it shows people want to go to the movies,” Aronson commented. “The marketplace really works when there are choices and there’s something for everybody.”

On the other hand, Kevin Costner’s “Horizon: An American Saga—Chapter 1” struggled to make a strong impact, opening with $11 million. Older audiences, who are typically more inclined towards Western epics, generally don’t rush to cinemas on opening weekends.

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. However, the journey ahead looks tough for “Horizon,” as it received lukewarm reviews and an underwhelming B- CinemaScore.

Interestingly, the stakes are higher for “Horizon,” a $100 million project that Costner self-financed, even mortgaging his property in Santa Barbara to fund it. Despite the tepid start, Costner remains committed, with Chapter 2 set for a summer release on August 16 and plans for two more installments. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for Comscore, suggested that the Western genre often requires a long game, stating, “The western genre is one of those that is very specific. It’s going to be about the long game.”

A glance at the top 10 box office performers reveals a trend: audiences are sticking to familiar franchises and established hits rather than venturing into originals. Right behind “Horizon” was “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” which has been in theaters for four weeks but continues to draw crowds.

Dergarabedian noted, “Audiences in the summer want the tried and true, they want the familiar.” The top 10 also showcases a wide variety of genres, including two Indian films: the Telugu-language sci-fi “Kalki 2898 AD,” which placed fifth with $5.4 million, and the Punjabi-language “Jatt & Juliet 3,” which ranked ninth with $1.5 million.

“If you can’t find something that appeals to you at the multiplex right now, you’re not looking hard enough,” Dergarabedian concluded.

Based on Comscore’s data, the estimated ticket sales for U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday are as follows:
1. Inside Out 2: $57.4 million
2. A Quiet Place: Day One: $53 million
3. Horizon: An American Saga—Chapter 1: $11 million
4. Bad Boys: Ride or Die: $10.3 million
5. Kalki 2898 AD: $5.4 million
6. The Bikeriders: $3.3 million
7. The Garfield Movie: $2 million
8. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes: $168.1 million
9. Jatt & Juliet 3: $1.5 million
10. Kinds of Kindness: $1.5 million