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The box office of the prequel “A Quiet Place” speaks volumes, while Costner’s western gets off to a rocky start

“A Quiet Place: Day One” is a box office hit. The prequel grossed an estimated $53 million in North American theaters during its first weekend, studios estimated Sunday.

It’s both a franchise bestseller and a much bigger-than-expected grosser. Before the weekend, pre-release day-one records had projected a $40 million debut, but audiences were clearly more excited by the Lupita Nyong’o-Joseph Quinn-starring action horror released by Paramount. The same can’t be said for Kevin Costner’s Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1, which earned $11 million.

Quiet Place’s victory, however, was not quite enough to secure the coveted number one spot on the charts. That honor once again went to Disney and Pixar’s hit Inside Out 2, which grossed an estimated $57.4 million in its third weekend in theaters and surpassed the $1 billion mark worldwide.

There’s a slim chance the locations will change when the actual numbers are released on Monday. But either way, it’s good news for theaters in a summer season that’s finally picking up steam but is still well behind last year’s (down 19%) and pre-pandemic (down 36% from 2019) norms.

Inside Out 2 continues to be a box office hit the likes of which the industry hasn’t seen since Barbie nearly a year ago. In just three weeks of release, the film has grossed nearly $470 million in North America and $545.5 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $1.01 billion. The sequel is the only 2024 film to cross the billion-dollar mark, and it did so in just 19 days – a record for an animated film.

Michael Sarnoski’s PG-13-rated “A Quiet Place: Day One” is also quickly approaching an important threshold. Including $45.5 million from international screenings in 59 markets, the $67 million production has already grossed $98.5 million.

A rare feat for a third film: It grossed more than “A Quiet Place” ($50.2 million, released in April 2018) and “A Quiet Place: Part II” ($47.5 million, released in May 2021). John Krasinski, who wrote and directed the first two films, continued to serve as producer.

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Joseph Quinn (left) and Lupita Nyong’o in a scene from “A Quiet Place: Day One.” Photo credit: AP/Gareth Gatrell

Nearly 40% of the film’s revenue came from 3,708 theaters in the United States and Canada, playing in “premium theaters” such as IMAX and other large formats. The film opened to mostly positive reviews (84% on Rotten Tomatoes); audiences gave it a CinemaScore of B+ and four out of five stars on PostTrak.

Horizon, on the other hand, had a slow start. Although older audiences, who are most likely to support a Western epic, don’t usually flock to theaters on opening weekend, as is often the case with horror and superhero films, the road ahead is not easy: Reviews were not particularly good and the film received a disappointing B CinemaScore.

The stakes are also a little different with “Horizon,” a $100 million production that Costner financed himself and partnered with Warner Bros. to distribute. The film opened in 3,334 locations. Costner’s decades-long passion project was financed with a mortgage on a property in Santa Barbara, Calif., and he dropped out of “Yellowstone” to see it through. With a bold, unconventional strategy, “Part 2” hits theaters later this summer, on August 16. He also has plans for two more films.