At the risk of jumping to an overly optimistic conclusion: Theaters are back, baby! Everything’s going to be okay! America stared down the pandemic, and through sheer force of will, limitless stupidity, and unending greed, we’re going to hammer everything right back into the shape it was in before March of 2020. Go us!
The reason for this over-optimism is that the box office returns from the long Memorial Day weekend are in, and there’s a surprising bit of good news for one of the two big new releases—though it is good news that requires a Roger Maris-style asterisk in the record books, for whoever’s in charge of updating those. The two big releases were A Quiet Place Part II and Disney’s 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella, with the latter coming in at number two with a respectable haul of $26 million over the holiday weekend (already more than half of what Disney’s Raya And The Last Dragon has made over 13 weeks). The big winner, though, was John Krasinski’s Quiet Place sequel, which—if, and only if, you take the long weekend into account—actually managed to open higher than the first movie. That’s wild, considering that the pandemic is still an ongoing concern, despite what major movie theater chains recently decided.
A Quiet Place Part II made $57 million this weekend (though it was technically just $47 million if you don’t count the extra day), topping the first movie’s $50 million opening in 2018. Of course, the first movie was a word-of-mouth hit and picked up steam after that, going on to make $188 million domestically in a world where COVID-19 was just a twinkle in COVID-18's eye, but we’re just talking about the opening weekend here. It seems profoundly unlikely that Part II will keep this up and continue to outgross the first movie, barring a sudden change-of-heart from unvaccinated people who decide en masse to get their jabs and go see a movie, but it could happen.
The rest of the long weekend’s box office numbers are… less interesting, to be honest, with Spiral, Wrath Of Man, and Raya all making $2.7 million. Enormous international hit Demon Slayer: Mugen Train has fallen off and dropped to $1.5 million (for $46 million total, which is still more than most movies in the last year), and the various HBO Max/Warner Bros. movies, many of which have done good business this year, are mostly holding on to a few bucks. We’re not sure why anyone is going to a theater to see Godzilla Vs. Kong now, but there are worse things to do with your time.
For a more detailed breakdown of this past weekend’s box office numbers, head over to Box Office Mojo.