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Are the movies back? We’ll wait and see

Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published June 16, 2021

The new movie musical isn’t hitting the heights. In the Heights, a film universally identified as “one of the biggest releases of 2021,” had a rough opening weekend. It sold just $11.4 million in the U.S. over its first three days of release, nabbing the No. 2 spot behind John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II, which sold $11.65 million over the weekend.

People like horror.

A Quiet Place Part II has now sold $109 million in the U.S. and $200 million worldwide over its first 17 days of release. Along with Godzilla vs. Kong, this makes A Quiet Place Part II one of the first big success stories at the theaters post-COVID-19.

Does this mean that John Krasinski now has the keys to the castle? It feels that way. Don’t be surprised if, within the next 10 years or so, he’s directing prestige films that get Oscar nominations.

Also at the Box

As noted above, In the Heights took the No. 2 spot at the domestic box while Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway took the No. 3 spot, selling $10.4 million in the U.S. over its first three days of release.

Children’s films sell, just like horror.

Speaking of horror, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It took the No. 4 spot at the box office. It sold another $10.2 million in the U.S., bringing the flick’s 10-day sales total to $44 million domestically and $112 million worldwide. Not great, but not bad.

Rounding out last weekend’s Top 5 is the underrated Cruella, which sold $6.7 million over the hot summer weekend. It has now sold $56 million domestically and $130 million worldwide over its first 17 days of release.

I’m not quite ready to declare the movies are back, but these past four weeks have been decent.

New This Week

Here we are, in the middle of June. It’s when all of the kids are out of school, the sun is up early, it’s too hot to be outside, and all the big films typically start to hit hard.

This weekend will see the release of just one big film, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Featuring bigwigs like Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, and Frank Grillo, it’s hard to say how this flick will fare.

It doesn’t fit in with my theory that horror, children’s films, and action hero movies are the only ones sure to bring people out of their house. Ryan Reynolds is a household name, so maybe he’ll fill some seats, but I’m not sure it will top A Quiet Place Part II.

Also coming out this weekend are a number of smaller releases, including a re-release of last year’s overlooked Miss Juneteenth, the action thriller Take Back starring Mickey Rourke, Edgar Wright’s documentary The Sparks Brothers, a thriller called Stalker, a drama called Summer of ’85, and a documentary called Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go for It, the latter of which I’ll definitely be watching, and you should, too.

Screen Rant

Next weekend we find out if movie theaters will live on in a way that resembles what they were prior to the pandemic. With the release of F9: The Fast Saga (also known as the ninth Fast and Furious film), I believe we’ll learn if the masses still want to go out to the theater. If a heavily promoted franchise flick stocked with stars doesn’t bring people out, then I think the industry will start to officially reimagine the role of movie theaters.

Will they simply be for huge releases outside of major markets? In other words, will the major cities, like L.A., NYC, and Chicago, be the only ones that still play small-run films? Will most of the huge movie houses in small cities and towns close for good?

I get the impression we’ll know more at this time next week. I only wish it were a profoundly better movie than F9: The Fast Saga determining our fate.

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