May 21, 2022

Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe star in “A Quiet Place Part II”.

Paramount Pictures

The box office is recovering.

Over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, North American cinemas achieved nearly $ 100 million in ticket sales, the best performance since the pandemic began.

Although less than half of the $ 232 million raised over the same weekend in 2019 was raised, that weekend marked a milestone for the cinema industry.

“The belief of every studio manager that a film belongs on streaming, this model is shaken by the numbers [from this weekend]”Bow Tie Cinemas’ chief operating officer Joseph Masher said Tuesday on CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange. [movies] is exclusive to the theater. We proved that this weekend. “

Over the weekend, $ 48.4 million was set aside for three days for Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part II,” the biggest film debut during the pandemic. For the entire four-day holiday weekend, the film raised $ 57 million.

The film opened just before the first A Quiet Place, which grossed $ 50 million in theaters on its first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in 2018. Remarkably, only 72% of the cinemas were open for the sequel.

The movie’s strong opening suggests that “demand for theatrical experiences has returned, although some cinemas in the country continue to operate under certain restrictions,” JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani said in a statement to investors on Tuesday.

Emma Stone plays Cruella de Vil in Disney’s “Cruella”.

Disney

Disney’s “Cruella” grabbed $ 27 million over the four-day weekend, a rather subdued result since the film also released on Disney + for $ 30.

A number of studios began experimenting with different release strategies during the pandemic while waiting for the cinemas to recover. Disney created a premiere entry, a one-time price of $ 30, to see a new blockbuster feature.

As theaters reopened and vaccination rates increased, the company decided to bring more films to theaters while also offering this streaming option at home.

Warner Bros. ‘ made the decision earlier this year to release its entire slate on HBO Max and in theaters the same day. Universal and Paramount have reached agreements with cinema chains on shorter cinema windows, which will enable studios to place features on streaming services earlier than in previous years.

Masher expects this trend to reverse when the pandemic subsides.

“Sitting in the room with strangers, even after a pandemic, is something you don’t get anywhere else,” Masher said. “‘The Conjuring’ is coming this week. It’s going to be fine. ‘In the Heights’ is in two weeks. It will also be available on streaming services. The studios are realizing that theater exclusive is the way to go.”

While Disney is bringing “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise” to theaters and on Disney + for $ 30, its September release “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will be exclusive to theaters.

Other big blockbuster releases coming out this summer and fall are “F9”, “Dune”, “Snake Eyes”, “Free Guy”, “Eternals”, “The Green Knight”, “The Suicide Squad”, “Venom.” : Let there be Carnage “,” Spider-Man: No Way Home “and” No Time To Die “.

“We’re back and we’re not going anywhere,” said Masher.

Disclosure: CNBC’s parent company, Comcast, owns Universal.