Paramount's frightening "A Quiet Place: Part II" returned to first place in North American theaters this weekend, as the much-ballyhooed film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical "In the Heights" fell short of expectations, industry analysts said Sunday.
"Quiet Place," directed by John Krasinski and starring his wife Emily Blunt, took in an estimated $11.6 million for the three-day weekend as Hollywood continued to edge back toward normality, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported.
While that take was well below pre-pandemic levels for a box office topper, "Quiet," in its third week, nonetheless became the first post-Covid film to top the $100 million mark domestically.
Warner Bros.' energetic feel-good musical "In the Heights" -- Jon M. Chu's cinematic adaptation of the musical by "Hamilton" creator Miranda -- took in $11.4 million.
"Heights" thus fell short of early estimates that it might hit $15 million to $20 million, its in-theater total hurt no doubt as it debuted simultaneously on the HBO Max streaming service.
With an ensemble cast led by Anthony Ramos and Corey Hawkins, "Heights" tells the story of the dreams and challenges facing young Latinos in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood.
Another new release, Sony's family-friendly "Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway," placed third at $10.4 million. A mixed live-action/animation, it features the voice of James Corden in the title role.
In fourth spot was last weekend's box office leader "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It," at $10 million. This latest chapter in the Warner Bros. horror franchise again features Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators pitted against demonic nastiness.
And in fifth spot was Disney's family-friendly "Cruella," at $6.7 million. The live-action film stars Emma Stone as the puppy-hating title villain.
As Hollywood struggles to shake off its long, painful pandemic hangover, grosses continue to lag behind previous years. Key factors: lingering hesitancy among some moviegoers -- particularly older people -- competition from streaming services and closures affecting many theaters in Canada.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
"Spirit Untamed" ($2.5 million)
"The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks" ($1 million)
"Wrath of Man" ($615,000)
"Queen Bees" ($328,000)