Box Office: ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ Scores Franchise-Best $53 Million Debut, Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon’ Misfires With $11 Million

“A Quiet Place: Day One” is making noise at the box office, collecting a roaring $53 million in its domestic opening weekend. The nearly silent thriller added $45.5 million internationally for a global tally of $98.5 million.

Though it landed in second place behind Disney-Pixar’s billion-dollar blockbuster “Inside Out 2,” the ticket sales for “Day One” are especially impressive because spinoff stories usually don’t bring in as much business as direct sequels. Yet “A Quiet Place: Day One” — a prequel in Paramount’s post-apocalyptic horror series — landed the biggest debut in the franchise, exceeding the original 2018 “A Quiet Place,” ($50 million to start) and the 2021 sequel, “A Quiet Place Part II” (a $48 million debut during COVID).

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“We listened to the fans about what they’d be looking for,” says Paramount’s president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson. “This origin story, giving them a new city as the setting and fresh characters, all conspired to broaden the audience.”

This start is also notable because John Krasinski, who directed the first two films, and his wife Emily Blunt, who starred in them, didn’t return for this entry. Instead, Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn led “A Quiet Place: Day One,” set during the early stages of a New York City alien invasion that eventually forced the population into hiding from terrifying, sound-hunting creatures. “Pig” filmmaker Michael Sarnoski took over directing duties from Krasinski, who contributed to the story. Critics and audiences dug the film, which landed an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes and B+ on CinemaScore. “Day One” cost $67 million to produce, so it’s positioned well in its theatrical run.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for this weekend’s other newcomer, Kevin Costner’s epic gamble “Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1.” The $100 million-budgeted film about the expanding Western frontier has collected a disastrous $11 million from 3,334 theaters. It landed in a distant third place on domestic box office charts.

Costner and distributor Warner Bros. were counting on fans of the actor’s hit TV show “Yellowstone” to help the film to break out in America’s heartland. But dismal reviews and negative word-of-mouth from moviegoers — the three-hour film notched a 39% Rotten Tomato score and B- CinemaScore — likely won’t inspire a rebound in ticket sales. That’s problematic because a sequel, “Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 2,” is scheduled to hit the big screen in two months, on Aug. 16.

Costner, who reportedly spent more than $38 million of his own money to fund the movie series (which he wants to expand to four parts), has more to lose than Warners. The studio is only on the hook to pay for distribution. One theory behind the dismal turnout is that “Horizon” felt more like a mini-series than a feature film.

“Kevin Costner has had a lot of exposure in ‘Yellowstone’ on Paramount+. In this market, a theatrical production that looks like television has a disadvantage,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. He added that “good ancillary income will mitigate some of the red ink, but not all of it.”

“A Quiet Place: Day One” notched one of the bigger debuts of the year and would have landed in first place in any other weekend. However, “Inside Out 2” is still surging in its third weekend of release and ruled over the box office again with $57 million. So far, “Inside Out 2” has generated $469 million domestically and $545 million internationally to tower as the highest-grossing movie of the year. With $1.015 billion globally, it’s now the first film of 2024 (and the only blockbuster since “Barbie”) to hit the coveted $1 billion mark.

Thanks to the counterprogramming success of “A Quiet Place” and “Inside Out 2”, the year-to-date deficit shrank again from 21% to 19%, according to Comscore. Up next on the summer slate is “Despicable Me 4” (July 3), “Twisters” (July 19) and “Deadpool & Wolverine” (July 26).

“Up until now, the theatrical marketplace has been driven by one film at a time,” says Aronson. “The business works best when there’s something for everyone.”

Sony’s “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” rolled to fourth place with $10.3 million from 3,312 locations in its fourth weekend of release. The fourth installment in the buddy-cop comedy series, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, has grossed $165 million in North America and $332 million globally. It’s an impressive tally, albeit not quite at the height of its predecessor, 2020’s “Bad Boys for Life” ($426.5 million).

An Indian science-fiction epic, “Kalki 2898 AD,” rounded out the top five with $5.4 million from 1,049 venues. Nag Ashwin directed the Telugu-language film, which scored on Imax screens with $1.8 million globally.

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