Box Office: ‘In the Heights’ Battling ‘Quiet Place 2’ for No. 1

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Warner Bros.’ In the Heights won the Friday (June 11) box office race, earning $5 million — including Thursday previews — for a projected weekend start in the $12 million to $13 million range. That’s lower than expected and puts the feel-good movie race in a close race with holdover A Quiet Place Part II.

Jon M. Chu, the force behind box office hit Crazy Rich Asians, directs the big screen adaptation of the musical that put Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on the map.

Like all 2021 Warner Bros. titles, In the Heights is debuting simultaneously on HBO Max because of the challenges posed by the pandemic. It is impossible to know exactly how much business that is taking away in terms of box office grosses, but the musical may be more impacted than other genres since musicals often play to older adults. That demo has yet to make a full-fledged return to the multiplex. At the same, they also can have especially long legs.

Anthony Ramos and Corey Hawkins led the ensemble cast in this tale of a corner in Upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights where different members of the close-knit Latinx community pursue their dreams. Leslie Grace, Melisa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV and Jimmy Smits also star in the critically acclaimed film, which received an A CinemaScore from audiences.

The film is over-indexing on both Coasts, and particularly on the East Coast, where five of the top 10 theaters on Friday came from New York City alone.

The weekend’s other new offering is Sony’s family pic Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which grossed an estimated $4 million on Friday for an estimated debut of $10.2 million. The film received an A CinemaScore.

The summer season is fully underway at the box office as the pandemic recovery continues, although grosses are still more tepid than in past years because of ongoing challenges facing the marketplace, including major theater closures in Canada, and hesitancy among some consumers. (There’s also cannibalization from streamers, such as HBO Max.)

Among holdovers, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II is making headlines in its third weekend as it becomes the first film since the COVID-19 crisis struck to cross the $100 million mark domestically.

The horror-thriller grossed $3.7 million on its third Friday for an estimated weekend haul of $12.5 million and a domestic total through Sunday of $109 million.

Warner Bros.’ The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is looking at third place finish its sophomore outing with $11.5 million.

Disney’s Cruella — which is also available on Disney+ Premier Access for $30 — is likely to round out the top five with weekend earnings of $7 million or so in its third weekend.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

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