‘A Quiet Place II’ Vs. ‘Cruella’ –

While many experts enthusiastically celebrated the legitimate, big opening numbers of Paramount’s A Quiet Place II — making lots of noise with a nearly $58 million box-office debut — as others shrugged at Cruella barking a little less loudly at approximately $30 million, let’s not forget about the missing ingredient in these box-office evaluations: streaming.

A Quiet Place II will not appear on its sister streaming platform, Paramount+, for another 45 days or so, meaning if you want to be tortured by those weird, sound-obsessed aliens, you have no choice but to go to the movies.

Families across the country are already keenly aware that Cruella is patiently waiting and available to show off her avant-garde approach to puppy care, via The Walt Disney

Company’s streaming service, Disney+.

While purchases haven’t yet been shared by Disney, rest assured, it’s highly likely that the combination of digital purchases of the 101 Dalmations adaptation, along with the weekend box-office opening, will come close to beating, if not eclipsing, John Krasinski’s thriller sequel.

For movie-houses, it’s deeply encouraging and a real relief that the public is already showing such  confidence and enthusiasm about heading back to the cineplex.

And Disney should be clapping itself on the back for successfully opening a movie while offering it simultaneously on streaming. No other film with a day and date opening (available at the theater and via streaming), has performed as well as Cruella.

When it came to movie-going in the very recent past, exclusivity was the name of the game.

Less than a year ago, no studio had the leverage, to push day and date shared exhibition (benefiting from the huge marketing that goes into the opening of any film title) with the various movie exhibition giants.

Today, with nearly all of the studios owning and prioritizing streaming in their entertainment portfolios, the old weekend parlor game of going through the box-office numbers takes on more nuance and is thus a more challenging exercise, when weighing how high or low a movie’s performance might be if it runs exclusively in theaters, or shares an opening with its sister streaming company.

Regardless, both Paramount and Disney have a lot to be enthusiastic about as Memorial Day weekend comes to a close.

Paramount proved that movie-goers will still rush in if a title has enough going for it, which A Quiet Place II certainly provides. Disney showed that a movie can perform quite handsomely, even if it’s offered the same day via its streaming platform.

We’re all grateful for our military and those who’ve sacrificed for us and it can never be repeated enough.

But Memorial Day, 2021, will also be remembered by entertainment industry nerds as the three day holiday that proved that cinema and streaming can live very comfortably, and successfully, together.

And one final grace note – – it’s pretty fantastic that the two movies vying for first place, with marketing and production budgets soaring into the hundreds of millions – – are led by women. It’s hard to remember another weekend in our recent past that featured two women vying for the box-office crown.

Emily Blunt and Emma Stone gives us one more reason to celebrate this weekend.

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