A Quiet Place Part II was originally supposed to open in March 2020, and New York and L.A. critics had already seen the film. But then COVID-19 hit, everything was shut down, and Paramount started moving the film around the calendar, first to September 2020 then to April 2021 and then again to September 2021. But now with vaccines rolling out and the Biden Administration saying they’ll have enough shots for everyone by the end of May, Paramount feels bullish enough on their prospects that they’re slotting A Quiet Place Part II for Memorial Day weekend:
This still feels a bit overly optimistic to me. Granted, with Paramount+ now in place, it looks like the film will fall into the new window where the movie gets a theatrical release for 45 days before moving to Paramount’s new streaming service. In other words, Paramount has found a way to give A Quiet Place Part II a nominal theatrical release while also setting up a prime addition to their burgeoning streaming service, which makes for a win-win for the studio. If people are back in theaters by May, then they’ve got a hit on their hands (and as seen by the first Quiet Place, the film thrives in a theatrical experience where everyone is sharing the tension of the scenes). But if people aren’t coming back to theaters, they still have a big movie that will drive people towards checking out Paramount+.
Personally, for a multitude of reasons, I hope theaters are back by May because that means the vaccine rollout has gone swimmingly and we’re seeing people again and theatrical distribution will return. But my guess is that Paramount is expecting some half-full theaters and a bunch of other folks who will pay $10 to check out Paramount+ to see what all the fuss is about six weeks later.