Moviegoing increasingly looks like it didn't die during the pandemic. It just went into hibernation. John Krasinski's thriller sequel A Quiet Place Part II
opened over the Memorial Day weekend to a pandemic-best $48.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Including the Monday holiday, the studio forecasts the film will gross $58.5 million in North America, the AP
reports. (It got great reviews
.) The film's performance cheered a movie industry that has been punished and transformed by the pandemic. The Paramount Pictures flick, which was on the cusp of opening in March 2020 before theaters shut, was the first big film this year to open exclusively in theaters. Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Paramount, called the opening “an unqualified success.”
Many films have trotted out hybrid release plans during the pandemic, debuting films simultaneously in the home. The Walt Disney Co. did that this weekend with its live-action PG-13 Cruella De Vil prequel, Cruella, making it available to Disney+ subscribers for $30. In theaters, it grossed $21.3 million, Disney said, and an estimated $26.4 million over the four-day weekend. A Quiet Place II will also turn to streaming after 45 days in theaters when it becomes available on Paramount+. One clear result of the pandemic is that the theatrical window has shrunk, probably permanently. Three months was once the customary length of a movie's run in theaters. The year's previous best debut belonged to Warner Bros.' Godzilla vs. Kong, which opened with $32.2 million, or $48.5 million over its first five days, while simultaneously streaming on HBO Max.
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