In what could but some kind of accidental record, Paramount has released the second theatrical trailer for John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place part II just over 16 months after the initial teaser trailer. The first preview, which was intended to be the only preview, dropped on New Year’s Day 2020, just 3.5 months before its March 20, 2020 release date.
The Coronavirus took hold worldwide so suddenly that the Emily Blunt/Millicent Simmonds/Cillian Murphy-starring horror sequel had already been screened for junket press when the film was pushed back. I was going to see it Monday March 16, 2020 at the Arclight in Hollywood before everything turned upside down that previous Thursday. The trailer even includes pull-quotes from folks who saw it last March.
I’m sure there are critics who wrote their reviews right away and have been sitting on those critiques for well over a year. The film had great buzz coming out of those screenings (the social media embargo had already dropped), and it was tracking for an over/under $60 million domestic debut. The film cost around $35 million (a reasonable jump from the $17 million predecessor), and it was about to be Paramount’s second global smash following Sonic the Hedgehog a month prior.
What was supposed to be a comeback year for the Viacom-owned studio (with SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On the Run, Top Gun: Maverick, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Without Remorse and Coming 2 America potentially joining Quiet Place 2 and Sonic in the winners circle) turned into a year filled with big Paramount flicks being sold off to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Paramount got a steady supply of cash, at the possible expense of their long term future.
Quiet Place part II has been shuffled first to Labor Day weekend 2020, then to April 2021, then to Labor Day 2021 and now to Memorial Day weekend 2021. The film is unofficially kicking off the summer movie season alongside Walt Disney’s Cruella with Warner Bros.’ Those Who Wish Me Dead, Lionsgate’s Spiral: From the Book of Saw and (thanks to Cinemark) Netflix’s Army of the Dead acting as a curtain-raiser the week prior.
Its lower budget makes it an ideal “first biggie of the summer,” the lack of other guaranteed blockbusters for Paramount puts it in a more precarious position. It’ll reportedly be on Paramount+ after 45 days in theaters (another buffer against potential theatrical disinterest), and Mark Wahlberg’s Infinite will now skip theaters to debut on Paramount+. Even with aggresive plans for one original movie a week on Paramount+ beginning in 2022, it would be nice if what would have otherwise been a surefire $300-$400 million global hit could bring some solid theatrical revenue.