In the midst of the Viacom-CBS merger melee, Paramount Pictures is turning itself around and can celebrate the fact that their low budget horror thriller A Quiet Place has bested Universal/Blumhouse’s Get Out at the domestic box office, $176.5M to $176M. And the John Krasinski-directed movie which stars himself and his wife Emily Blunt isn’t slowing down eight weekends after its release with a recent 3-day of $3.9M at 2,327 locations. Next to other horror thrillers stateside, A Quiet Place is arguably the fifth best after It ($327.5M), The Sixth Sense ($293.5M), Jaws ($260M), and The Exorcist ($232.9M).
In addition this past weekend, Paramount outstripped the $9M-$10M tracking for its older-femme skewing title Book Club which turned in a $13.58M opening; not too shabby for a movie that the studio acquired U.S./UK/France rights on for a reported $10M at last year’s AFM. Titles for the 50+ crowd can sometimes see multiples near 4x their opening.
Also, during the new regime of studio chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, Paramount pushed the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg holiday comedy Daddy’s Home 2 to $104M stateside, a rare box office benchmark nowadays for comedies. In the wake of the late Brad Grey-Rob Moore era at the studio, the latter days of which were weighed down in deflated tentpoles likes Star Trek Beyond and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and flat-out fails like Ben-Hur and Zoolander 2, the new Paramount is aiming to make well-rounded, smart-budgeted event title choices in its future slates. Year to date for Jan. 1-May 20 versus the same period a year ago, Paramount is +41% at the domestic B.O. with $274M according to ComScore.
True, Get Out and A Quiet Place are two different types of movies, one a socially conscious thriller, the other a sci-fi monster movie, however, they were both made respectively for a song at $4.5M and $17M, and are titles that have turned the genre on its ahead; one with gender politics, the other a cinematic force of silence and sound. A Quiet Place is already ahead of Get Out on a global basis, $301.1M to $255M. A Quiet Place, co-produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, made its world premiere at hipster festival SXSW alongside other movies such as Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Steven Spielberg movie Ready Player One. Early tracking had A Quiet Place opening lower than Ready Player, but the former bested the latter with a three-day debut of $50.2M to $41.7M (both opened on two different weekends). Gianopulos announced at CinemaCon that a sequel for A Quiet Place is already in the works.
On deck for Paramount is Johnny Knoxville’s R-rated comedy Action Point on June 1, Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout on July 27, Bad Robot’s horror pic Overlord on Oct. 26, Tyler Perry’s The List on Nov. 2, and Transformers spinoff Bumblebee on Dec. 21.