‘A Quiet Place’ makes noise in its debut weekend

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‘A Quiet Place’ makes noise in its debut weekend

NEW YORK - John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” made a thunderous debut at the box office, opening with $50 million in ticket sales and rumbling to the year’s second-best weekend after “Black Panther,” according to studio estimates Sunday.

The Paramount Pictures thriller far exceeded expectations to land one of the top opening weekends for a horror release. It marks an unlikely breakthrough for Krasinski, the former “Office” star many associate more with inter-office romance and deadpan expressions than silent cinematic frights. Krasinski’s third directing effort, which stars himself and wife Emily Blunt, is about a family in a future dystopia populated by violent creatures with extremely acute hearing.

But it was far from the only success story on the weekend, which also saw Universal’s R-rated comedy “Blockers” open solidly with $21.4 million, Steven Spielberg’s virtual-reality adventure “Ready Player One” dip only 40 percent with $25.1 million in its second weekend and the period docudrama “Chappaquiddick” beat expectations with a debut of $6.2 million.

But nothing approached the runaway success of “A Quiet Place.” Hollywood had forecast closer to $30 million for the film, which cost just $17 million to make. Yet “A Quiet Place” rode strong buzz from its SXSW premiere in March, good reviews (97 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and moviegoers’ continuing thirst for horror.

“We always knew we had something special from the first screenings. But you don’t get to a number like this without breaking free of the genre. I think this is about great storytelling,” said Kyle Davies, head of domestic distribution for Paramount.

“A Quiet Place” is also a badly needed hit for Paramount, which has struggled mightily at the box office in recent years while its ownership has sometimes been in limbo. Earlier this week, CBS Corp. submitted a bid to acquire Viacom Inc., Paramount’s parent company. AP
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