This weekend’s box office broke records, but not of the superhero kind. While we’re used to seeing the latest superhero blockbuster or reboot or big budget adaptation set records in this current climate, this week it was an original horror thriller made on a modest budget that broke the mold. Director/co-writer/star John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place soared to a whopping $50 million this weekend, serving as the third-highest opening ever for a horror movie, behind only the tremendous $123.4 million opening weekend of IT last fall (although that movie had Stephen King IP and Stranger Things vibes to help draw in audiences) and the $52.5 million opening of Paranormal Activity 3 in 2011. A Quiet Place was a success the old fashioned way: it thrived due to positive reviews, a fantastic marketing campaign from Paramount, and great word of mouth.
This continues Hollywood’s trend of underestimating the horror genre, even as films like The Conjuring, Get Out, and the aforementioned IT go on to become bona fide box office smashes. IT outgrossed Warner Bros.’ superhero team-up film Justice League for goodness sake!
A Quiet Place’s $50 million total was enough to dethrone Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which surpassed expectations with its opening last weekend. The film pulled in $25 million for the weekend, which is actually a pretty strong hold. Moreover, it’s done extremely well overseas where it’s pulled in $294 million already for a worldwide total near $400 million. In China alone, the film has grossed $161 million, so clearly international audiences are all about this one.
The weekend’s other major new release, the comedy Blockers, pulled in an impressive $21.4 million. Director Kay Cannon’s spin on the teen sex comedy genre also enjoyed good reviews out of its debut at SXSW (where A Quiet Place premiered), and the film is an undeniable comedy hit in a climate where that genre is becoming more risky. The Will Ferrell/Amy Poehler-fronted comedy The House, for instance, only mustered $8 million opening weekend, so star power is no longer enough to guarantee your comedy’s success. Blockers certainly has a unique spin on the genre that speaks deftly to the gender politics of today, with a swell mix of raunchy humor and heart that brings to mind Superbad, so its success is well deserved.
The true-story drama Chappaquiddick, which stars Jason Clarke as Ted Kennedy, performed above expectations with a swell $6.2 million while LD Entertainment’s The Miracle Season pulled in $4 million. As for holdovers, the faith-based I Can Only Imagine continues to be a smash in the heartland, pulling in another $8.4 million this weekend to bring its total to $69 million. And Black Panther is still going strong, three weeks before Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters. The film has now toppled Titanic to take the #3 position on the all-time domestic chart, and it brought in another $8.8 million this weekend—its eighth weekend in release.
Next weekend brings Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage and another horror film, Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare, so it’ll be interesting to see how A Quiet Place holds up. For now, check out this weekend’s full Top 10 below.
|1.||A Quiet Place||$50,000,000||$50,000,000|
|2.||Ready Player One||$25,060,000||$96,920,525|
|5.||I Can Only Imagine||$8,356,800||$69,084,002|
|6.||Tyler Perry’s Acrimony||$8,065,000||$31,349,580|
|9.||Pacific Rim Uprising||$4,910,000||$54,919,060|
|10.||Isle of Dogs||$4,600,000||$12,048,934|