LOS ANGELES, April 8, (Variety.com) - "A Quiet Place" was looking to make noise at the weekend box office, and it delivered.
Paramount Pictures' thriller directed by John Krasinski soared past estimates to a massive $50.3 million opening in 3,508 theaters. That's enough to land it the second highest domestic opening of the year to date behind "Black Panther," which opened in February with $202 million. Since its debut at South by Southwest, "A Quiet Place" has garnered rave reviews. It currently holds an impressive 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with a B+ CinemaScore.
"This much bigger than expected debut comes in an era of ongoing popularity for the horror genre that in North America alone last year generated over $1 billion in box office," Paul Dergarabedian, a media analyst at comScore, said.
At No. 2, Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" made $25 million in 4,234 locations in its second weekend, bringing its total domestic grosses up to $97 million. The Warner Bros.' film has been a strong contender overseas, where it has made $169 million.
Another weekend release, "Blockers," secured third place at the box office. Universal's raunchy R-rated comedy -- directed by Kay Cannon and starring John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz -- released in line with projections for an impressive $21.4 million debut in 3,379 theaters. "Blockers" has been another buzzy title from SXSW, earning an 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes along with a B CinemaScore.
Meanwhile, the eighth frame of "Black Panther" landed at No. 4 with $8.8 million in 2,747 locations. Domestically, the Marvel film earned $665.4 million, making it the third-biggest release of all time behind "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Avatar." Globally, "Black Panther" has grossed $1.29 billion.
Rounding out the top five is Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions' "I Can Only Imagine," with $8.4 million in 2,894 theaters. The faith-based film has been an impressive force at the box office, making $69 million in four weeks.
Two other newcomers, "Chappaquiddick" and "The Miracle Season" premiered slightly above estimates. Entertainment Studios' "Chappaquiddick" opened with $5.9 million at 1,560 locations, while LD Entertainment's "The Miracle Season" saw $4 million at 1,707 locations.
While the 2018 box office is down 2.1 percent compared to 2017, this weekend last year is up 35.3 percent.