Sony is reporting the Thursday night previews for Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which began at 4 p.m. at 2,572 theaters, and the long-awaited Will Gluck-directed sequel grossed $900K. The first Peter Rabbit in February 2018 didn’t hold any previews.
Sony earlier in the week was expecting $8M-$10M, but the sequel very well could do in the teens at 3,300. As far as Thursday night comps to Peter Rabbit 2, it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison due to pre-pandemic numbers, but both Sony’s Emoji Movie and Fox/DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls posted $900K Thursday nights and went on to $24.5M and $46.5M opening weekends, respectively. Peter Rabbit 2 has a 70% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Peter Rabbit 2 is sharing the marquee with Warner Bros. Jon M. Chu-directed Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights, which is expected to overperform with a 3-day well north of $20M-plus, capturing Hispanic audiences. The pic had its world premiere as the opener of the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday night. In a Fandango poll, 96% of those moviegoers polled said that In the Heights is their first movie they’re seeing during the pandemic. The film is also available on HBO Max.
In the Heights did hold previews last night that started at 7 p.m. Warner Bros. will roll those ticket sales into Friday’s number. The feature musical is booked at 3,400 locations and will show in Imax, PLF, and drive-ins. Exhibitor screenings have been glowing, and many in the industry are expecting an overindexing and a win for diversity at the box office much like Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians, which beat its 5-day $30M opening projection with $35.2M. In the Heights is 97% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
The first installment of Peter Rabbit opened to $25M domestic in 2018 and went on to make $115.2M domestic, $351.2M WW. While Sony has sold off some of its movies to Netflix (licensed out global rights, if you will), the Culver City lot kept Peter Rabbit 2, as it knew it could make some dough off of this one. Already, the sequel has banked mopre than $46M offshore, after a staggered launch out of Australia at the end of March (before Victoria closed down) and heads into China this weekend.
Also as of today, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II will become the first movie during the pandemic to cross $100M domestic — a milestone. The John Krasinski-directed sequel is crossing the century mark in 14 days. We’re still waiting for Warner Bros/Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong to cross $100M; the last number recorded by the studio was last weekend’s stateside running total at $99.1M. A Quiet Place Part II made $2M on Thursday at 3,744 locations; the sequel’s running total stands at $97.3M. I hear Quiet Place II and New Line/HBO Max’s Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It were in a dead heat last night, with the former edging out the threequel.