This Weekend Destroyed Box-Office Myths: ‘Quiet Place’ Prequel Opens to $53M, Indian Epic Smokes ‘Horizon’

“Inside Out 2” (Disney) in its third week will gross $57.4 million, with “A Quiet Place: Day One” (Paramount) estimating $53 million. The last time two films grossed over $50 million on the same weekend was last July, when “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” opened. Before that? 2017.

This is rare because distributors like to space out films with this potential. Even though it’s not a direct competitor, Paramount likely opted to open its prequel two weeks after Pixar. No one expected “Inside Out 2” to be this strong at this point ($469 million domestic after only 17 days).

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This is summer the way it’s supposed to be. Three films opened to over $50 million over four weeks, and “Despicable Me 4” (Universal) opening Wednesday should make it four over five weeks. It justifies more optimism for the future than we’ve had for a long time.

That’s reason to be pleased, but not rapturous. Last year, late May and early June had five films open at or above that level across five weeks. The last was “The Flash,” which was considered a disappointment at $55 million.

However, many of these releases cost much less than that ill-fated DC title. (“Inside Out 2” is an exception.) “Day One” cost $67 million, “Bad Boys” $100 million. It makes a big difference when studios show a real profit for their efforts.

"Despicable Me 4"
‘Despicable Me 4’Courtesy of Illumination

Even with the pending “Despicable Me 4” as competition, “Inside Out 2” is on track for a domestic haul of $600 million or more. It even has a shot at topping “Barbie” ($636 million), last year’s top domestic release.

The “Day One” result is also surprising. It overshot tracking (projections were closer to $40 million) and lay waste to the post-“Furiosa” (Warner Bros.) analysis that prequels were a problem. “Day One” had the best first weekend in the franchise. It also benefitted from higher ticket prices and summer placement, plus overcame what has been a lackluster performance for horror genre films this year.

“Bad Boys: Ride or Die” (Sony) in its fourth week is #4, over $10 million, and at $165 million nearly equal to previous entry “Bad Boys for Life” at the same point. Again, far better than predicted.

The bounty didn’t extend to Kevin Costner’s “Horizon: An American Saga Chapter 1″ (WB). His dances with tropes Western managed only $11 million, with a B- Cinemascore suggesting that word of mouth will not improve things. With Costner’s significant investment and Chapter 2 coming in August (the films are reported to have cost $100 million combined before marketing), this one will leave a mark. It’s another case where Cannes-premiere hype (including silly timing of ovations) did little good, similar to “Furiosa” and “Indiana Jones” before it.

An old man dramed in robes pictured in a desert scape and holding a staff; Amitabh Bachchan in 'Kalki 2898 AD'
‘Kalki 2898 AD’Vyjayanthi Movies

The Indian market came through strong. “Kalki 2898 AD” (Prathyangira), a Telugu-language $72 million epic that opened Thursday, took fifth for the weekend with just under $11 million in 1,234 theaters. That’s a $8,890 per-theater average. “Jatt & Juliet 3” (White Hill), a Punjabi-language rom-com sequel, placed ninth with $1.5 million in only 143 theaters and a per-theater gross of over $10,500. By comparison, “Horizon” was in 4,100 theaters for an average of $2,683.

The traditional specialized market would kill for results like that. Instead, multiple turns at the plate this week showed from modest to bad results for some films with genuine prospects. Best of the bunch is Catherine Breillat’s acclaimed “Last Summer,” which outshone others with a $30,000 debut in three New York/Los Angeles theaters. Also impressive is the ongoing release of “Thelma” (Magnolia), which grossed $1.3 million in 1,082 theaters. It’s now at $5.1 million.

The second weekend of Jeff Nichols’ “The Bikeriders” (Focus), after a credible near-$10 million opening, dropped 66 percent. That’s more on the film than its distributor.

And after Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Kinds of Kindness” grossed $75,000 per theater in five theaters, Searchlight quickly expanded to 490 theaters. However, it grossed $1.5 million this weekend for just over $3,000 per theater — better than Costner, but still. After Lanthimos’ “The Favourite” and “Poor Things” each grossed over $30 million, this will strain to get anywhere near $10 million. (This cost $15 million with good foreign prospects).

Sony’s Crunchyroll saw another underwhelming anime result with “Blue Lock The Movie — Episode Nagi.” It grossed just over $1 million in 857 theaters. That was far better than “Daddio” (Sony Classics Pictures) with Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson, which managed a weak $440,500 in 628 theaters — an average of $701 each. “Janet Planet” (A24), which had a promising platform debut last week, was a weak $187,000 in 315 theaters.

The weekend totaled around $153 million, up from $128 million last year. Year to date, box office is down 19 percent.

The Top 10

1. Inside Out 2 (Disney) Week 3; Last weekend #1

$57,400,000 (-43%) in 4,440 (no change) theaters; PTA (per theater average): $12,928; Cumulative: $469,306,000

2. A Quiet Place: Day One (Paramount) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 68; Est. budget: $67 million

$53,000,000 in 3,707 theaters; PTA: $14,293; Cumulative: $53,000,000

3. Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1 (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic: 46; Est. budget: $50 million

$11,000,000 in 4,100 theaters; PTA: $3,299; Cumulative: $11,000,000

4. Bad Boys: Ride or Die (Sony) Week 4; Last weekend #2

$10,335,000 (-45%) in 3,312 (-469) theaters; PTA: $3,120; Cumulative: $165,250,000

5. Kalki 2898 AD (Prathyangira) NEW – Est. budget: $72 million

$5,409,000 in 1,234 theaters; PTA: $5,156; Cumulative: $10,970,000

6. The Bikeriders (Focus) Week 2; Last weekend #3

$3,300,000 (-66%) in 2,622 (+50) theaters; PTA: $1,226; Cumulative: $16,200,000

7. The Garfield Movie (Sony) Week 6; Last weekend #5

$2,000,000 (-47%) in 1,762 (-1,251) theaters; PTA: $1,135; Cumulative: $89,640,000

8. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (Disney) Week 8; Last weekend #4

$1,700,000 (-55%) in 1,650 (-760) theaters; PTA: $1,030; Cumulative: $168,077,000

9. Jatt & Juliet 3 (White Hill) NEW

$1,504,000 in 143 theaters; PTA: $10,518; Cumulative: $1,504,000

10. Kinds of Kindness (Searchlight) Week 2; Last weekend #13

$1,500,000 (+298%) in 490 (+485) theaters; PTA: $3,061; Cumulative: $2,013,000

Other specialized/independent titles

Films (limited, expansions of limited) are listed by week in release, starting with those opened this week; after the first three weeks, only films with grosses over $5,000 are listed. Metacritic scores and initial film festivals recorded when available.

Blue Lock The Movie — Episode Nagi (Sony)

$1,050,000 in 857 theaters; PTA: $1,225; Cumulative: $1,050,000

Daddio (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW – Metacritic: 62; Festivals include: Telluride, Toronto 2023, Tribeca 2024

$440,295 in 628 theaters; PTA: $700

Last Summer (Janus/Sideshow) NEW – Metacritic: 76; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto, New York 2023

$30,300 in 3 theaters; PTA: $10,100

June Zero (Cohen) NEW – Metacritic: 62; Festivals include: Karlovy Vary 2022

$8,142 in 1 theaters; PTA: $8,142

The Vourdalak (Oscilloscope) NEW – Metacritic:; Festivals include:

$8,115 in 1 theater; PTA: $8,115

The Small Back Room (Rialto) REISSUE

$6,800 in 1 theater; PTA: $6,800

Thelma (Magnolia) Week 2

$1,320,000 in 1,300 (+10) theaters; PTA: $1,082; Cumulative: $5,107,000

Janet Planet (A24) Week 2

$187,488 in 315 (+313) theaters; PTA: $595; Cumulative: $264,994

Ghostlight (IFC) Week 3

$48,128 in 129 (-373) theaters; Cumulative: $504,241

Tuesday (A24) Week 4

$8,334 in 25 (-313) theaters; Cumulative: $693,350

Robot Dreams (Neon) Week 5

$50,000 in 56 (-28) theaters; Cumulative: $555,243

Babes (Neon) Week 7

$35,900 in 30 (-20) theaters; Cumulative: $3,738,000

I Saw the TV Glow (A24) Week 9; also on PVOD

$26,872 in 35 (-75) theaters; Cumulative: $4,950,000

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