John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place made a thunderous debut at the box office, opening with $50 million in ticket sales and rumbling to the year’s second-best weekend after Black Panther, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The Paramount Pictures thriller far exceeded expectations to land one of the top opening weekends for a horror release. It marks an unlikely breakthrough for Krasinski, the former Office star many associate more with inter-office romance and deadpan expressions than silent cinematic frights. Krasinski’s third directing effort, which stars himself and wife Emily Blunt is about a family in a future dystopia populated by violent creatures with extremely acute hearing.
But it was far from the only success story on the weekend, which also saw Universal’s R-rated comedy Blockers open solidly with $21.4m, Steven Spielberg’s virtual-reality adventure Ready Player One dip only 40 percent with $25.1m in its second weekend and the period docudrama Chappaquiddick beat expectations with a debut of $6.2m. In limited release, Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here and Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete all did well, too.
For one weekend, at least, just about everything Hollywood could throw at moviegoers worked. The weekend was up 35.3 percent from last year.
But nothing approached the runaway success of A Quiet Place. Hollywood had forecast closer to $30m for the film, which cost just $17m to make. Yet A Quiet Place rode strong buzz from its SXSW premiere in March, good reviews (97 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and moviegoers’ continuing thirst for horror.