‘A Quiet Place’ prequel box office speaks volumes, Costner’s Western gets bumpy start

“ A Quiet Place: Day One ” is making noise at the box office. The prequel earned an estimated $53 million in its first weekend in North American theaters, according to studio estimates Sunday.

It’s both a franchise best and significantly more than expected. Going into the weekend, prerelease tracking had “Day One” pegged for a $40 million debut, but audiences were clearly more enthusiastic to see the action-horror starring Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn and released by Paramount. The same could not be said for Kevin Costner’s “ Horizon: An American Saga—Chapter 1,” which opened to $11 million.

The ”Quiet Place” victory wasn’t quite enough to snag the coveted first place spot on the charts, though. That honor again went to Disney and Pixar’s juggernaut “ Inside Out 2,” which added an estimated $57.4 million in its third weekend in theaters, and crossed $1 billion globally.

There’s a distant possibility that the places will shift when actuals are released Monday. But either way it’s good news for movie theaters in a summer season that’s finally heating up but still running far behind last year (down 19%) and pre-pandemic norms (down 36% from 2019).

“Inside Out 2” continues to be a box office phenomenon, the likes of which the industry hasn’t seen since “Barbie” almost a year ago. In just three weeks of release, it’s earned nearly $470 million in North America and $545.5 million internationally, bringing its global total to $1.01 billion. The sequel is the only 2024 release to cross the billion dollar mark and it did it in just 19 days, a record for an animated film.

“A Quiet Place: Day One,” directed by Michael Sarnoski and rated PG-13, is also fast approaching an important threshold out of the gates. Including the $45.5 million from international showings in 59 markets, the $67 million production has already made $98.5 million.

In a rare feat for a third film, it opened higher than both “A Quiet Place” ($50.2 million opening in April 2018) and “ A Quiet Place: Part II ” ($47.5 million opening in May 2021). John Krasinski, who wrote and directed the first two, continued serving as a producer.

Playing on 3,708 screens in the U.S. and Canada, nearly 40% of its domestic earnings came from “premium screens” including IMAX and other large formats. It entered the marketplace with mostly positive reviews (84% on Rotten Tomatoes); Audiences gave it a B+ CinemaScore and four out of five stars on PostTrak.

The start for “Horizon,” meanwhile, was sluggish. Though older audiences, the ones most likely to support a Western epic, don’t typically rush out to see films on opening weekend the way people often do for horrors and superheroes, the road ahead will not be easy: Reviews have not been great and it got an underwhelming B- CinemaScore.

The stakes are also a little different for “Horizon,” a $100 million production that Costner financed on his own and partnered with Warner Bros. to distribute. It opened in 3,334 locations. A decades-old passion project, he mortgaged property in Santa Barbara, Calif. to finance it and exited “Yellowstone” to see it through. In a bold, unconventional strategy, “Part 2” arrives in theaters later this summer, on Aug. 16. He also has plans for two more movies.

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