Movie theaters had a lot riding on Memorial Day weekend this year, with the major releases of A Quiet Place Part II and Cruella signaling the true beginning of the hopeful summer 2021 season. Thankfully for them, audiences proved more than willing to show up.
A Quiet Place not only had people showing up in droves for the first time in quite a while – it very nearly toppled the opening weekend of its smash success predecessor from 2018. John Krasinksi’s original horror feature set in a world where making a sound could get you massacred by terrifying creatures grossed $50.2 million on its opening weekend in April 2018. The sequel is projected to hit $48.4 million over the 3-day weekend, with a $58.5 million total for the 4-day holiday weekend in the United States.
That’s massive, as not only does it show people coming back to the theaters, it also demonstrates a sign of success for a film that committed itself to going exclusively to theaters first. A Quiet Place Part II will drop on the Paramount+ streaming service after 45 days of theatrical exclusivity for the new deal that the studio struck for their streaming service. That’s not as long of a theatrical window as studios are used to adhering to, but that’s 45 full days of people needing to go to a theater if they want to see a film that everyone is talking about. See our review for the film here.
The other major release this weekend was Disney’s Cruella, a 101 Dalmatians prequel set around the villainous Cruella de Vil, played here by Emma Stone (our review here). The highly anticipated live-action Disney property went the route of films like Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon, premiering day-and-date in theaters and on Disney+ under their Premier Access strategy where subscribers to the service had to cough up an extra $30 to see the film at home. There’s no word yet on how successful that strategy is, but some audiences did show up to see the film in theaters, with Cruella notching a $21.3 million total over the 3-day weekend, and a projected $26.5 million for the four days.
This was a major weekend for the box-office that theaters will hope to replicate in the weeks to come, as next week sees the release of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, followed by In the Heights on June 11th. Can those films put up substantial numbers when both will be available day-and-date on HBO Max for no extra cost to subscribers? We shall see.
See below for this weekend’s full Top 10 at the domestic box office (numbers reported by Deadline):
01. A Quiet Place Part II – 3-day: $48.4 million (-) / 4-day: $58.5 million – 3,726 theaters
02. Cruella – 3-day: $21.3 million (-) / 4-day: $26.5 million – 3,892 theaters
03. Spiral – 3-day: $2.28 million (-55%) / 4-day: $2.9 million – 2,641 theaters
04. Wrath of Man – 3-day: $2.1 million (-28%) / 4-day: $2.75 million – 2,607 theaters
05. Raya and the Last Dragon – 3-day: $2 million (+20%) / 4-day: $2.57 million) – 2,015 theaters
06. Demon Slayer – 3-day: $837K (-36%) / 4-day: $1.06 million – 1,145 theaters
07. Godzilla vs. Kong – 3-day: $852K (-39%) / 4-day: $1 million – 1,815 theaters
08. Dream Horse – 3-day: $652.3K (-18%) / 4-day: $817.3K – 1,284 theaters
09. Those Who Wish Me Dead – 3-day: $545K (-72%) / 4-day: $641K – 1,805 theaters
10. World War Z – 3-day: $347K (re-release) / 4-day: $448K – 80 theaters