A Quiet Place Part II
|A Quiet Place Part II|
|Directed by||John Krasinski|
|Written by||John Krasinski|
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Edited by||Michael P. Shawver|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$223 million|
A Quiet Place Part II is a 2021 American horror film and the sequel to the 2018 film A Quiet Place, both of which follow a family that is forced to navigate and survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by blind aliens with an acute sense of hearing. The second installment of the Quiet Place series, the film was written, produced, and directed by John Krasinski under the studio Paramount Pictures. Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe reprise their roles from the first film while Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou join the cast; Krasinski returns from the first film in a flashback sequence set before the first film.
Paramount Pictures began development of a sequel in April 2018 following the box-office and critical success of the first film. By the following August, Krasinski was writing the film, and he was hired in February 2019 to direct. Production took place in Western New York from June to September 2019. Krasinski was credited with writing the sequel based on characters created by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck for the first film. The sequel was ultimately produced on a budget of $61 million, over three times the original's $17 million.
The film had its world premiere in New York City on March 8, 2020, and after over a year of postponements due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it was theatrically released in the United States on May 28, 2021. It will be available to stream on Paramount+ 45 days after its theatrical debut. The film set several box office records, including the biggest opening weekend of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has grossed $223 million worldwide, making it the fifth highest-grossing film of 2021. It received positive reviews from critics, who praised the story and the addition of Murphy's character.
Over a year before the first film's events, the Abbott family attends son Marcus' baseball game. Mid-game, bewildered spectators look skyward as a flaming object hurtles towards the Earth. As people exit the park and attempt to drive away, the town is beset and attacked by hostile alien creatures possessing armored skin and extraordinary speed and strength. The blind creatures have a hypersensitive hearing to target and track victims.
In the present, the aliens have killed much of the Earth's population, including Lee Abbott, who sacrificed himself to save his surviving family - wife Evelyn, deaf teen daughter Regan, adolescent son Marcus, and a newborn son. Regan discovered that high-frequency audio feedback can incapacitate the creatures, devising a makeshift method of transmitting the noise from her cochlear implant hearing aid through a microphone and speaker, allowing Evelyn to fatally shoot the creatures when they are vulnerable.
With their isolated home now destroyed, the family searches for other survivors. They bring Regan's kit to fend off the creatures. Upon entering a fenced-off area, Marcus steps into a bear trap. His subsequent screams attract a creature. Using the hearing aid and a shotgun, Regan and Evelyn kill it, free Marcus, then flee into an abandoned steel foundry as another creature arrives. They stumble upon Emmett, a reclusive friend of Lee's, who reluctantly takes them to his bunker under the foundry. Marcus and Regan discover a radio station signal that continuously plays the song, "Beyond the Sea." Regan determines it is a clue meant to lead survivors to the nearby islands. She theorizes that if she can reach the radio tower located there, the hearing aid's high-frequency noise can be transmitted to other survivors who can weaponize the signal against the creatures. After telling Marcus her plan, she secretly ventures out alone to find the island.
Discovering Regan is gone, Evelyn implores Emmett to bring her back. Emmett finds Regan and wants them to return to the foundry. Appealing to his sense of duty, Regan convinces Emmett to help complete her mission. Meanwhile, Evelyn leaves Marcus and her infant at the foundry to gather needed medical supplies and equipment. During her absence, Marcus explores the foundry and discovers the corpse of Emmett's wife. Startled, he knocks over some objects, alerting a nearby creature. Marcus narrowly gets into the bunker, but accidentally locks himself and the baby inside.
At a marina, Emmett and Regan search for a boat. When feral humans living there ambush them, Emmett deliberately creates noise and attracts two creatures that slaughter the deranged inhabitants. When one creature drowns, Emmett realizes the aliens are unable to swim. Regan secures a small boat and the two reach the island where a small colony of survivors is living a relatively normal existence. The colony leader reveals that when the government discovered the creatures were unable to swim, the National Guard moved as many people as possible to the islands.
Evelyn returns to the factory. She distracts the creature and frees her children from the air-tight bunker. The three continue hiding inside the bunker as the creature prowls the foundry.
A creature that boarded a yacht at the marina has drifted to the island and immediately begins attacking the colonists. The colony leader, Emmett, and Regan jump into a car and lead the creature to the radio station. The creature kills the colony leader while Emmett and Regan escape into the station.
The creature attacks and is about to kill Emmett. Regan transmits the high frequency through the room's speakers, incapacitating the creature. She impales its exposed head with a metal rod, killing it and saving Emmett. Simultaneously, at the foundry, the creature has discovered the bunker. It attacks Evelyn, but before it can kill her, Marcus picks up Regan's transmission and plays it through his portable radio, incapacitating the alien. Marcus shoots it dead with Evelyn's revolver. Regan leaves her hearing aid connected to the radio station's microphone, allowing anyone receiving the frequency to weaponize it.
- Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott. Now widowed, she leads her family to search for other humans.
- Cillian Murphy as Emmett, a friend of Lee's who is now a hardened, reclusive survivor whose wife and children were killed by the aliens. Murphy described his character as such: "For me, Emmett represents where the heart of the world lies right now, which is: finally feeling like they've all given up. Here comes this girl [Regan] who allows you to believe in more, and allows you to believe in yourself. That idea, I've always been really enthralled by."
- Millicent Simmonds as Regan Abbott, Evelyn's deaf daughter. Simmonds, who is deaf in real life, described her character's evolution after the first film, "She has a lot of pressure to become an adult very quickly." She has more prominent role in the sequel, and according to Syfy Wire, deafness and American Sign Language "are inherently linked to the heroism of its heroine". Simmonds worked with an ASL coach to make sure her signing and articulation were clean. She said she felt "a sense of pressure" being in a position to represent the deaf and hard of hearing.
- Noah Jupe as Marcus Abbott, Evelyn's son.
- Djimon Hounsou as the Man On the Island, the leader of a small island colony of survivors.
- John Krasinski as Lee Abbott, Evelyn's deceased husband and father of her children. He appears in a newly filmed opening flashback sequence set before the events of the first film, when the creatures first arrived on Earth and attacked. Krasinski said he wrote himself into the sequel because the first film "was such a personal experience" and his "love letter" to his children. He said, "It was really important for me to continue the metaphor and we actually start dealing with how this all started."
- Scoot McNairy as Marina Man, the leader of a group of dangerous feral humans who have gone insane and prey on travellers.
- Alice Sophie Malyukova as Girl at Marina, a member of the feral people who lures Emmett into a trap by pretending to be lost.
- Dean Woodward as Beau Abbott, Evelyn's deceased son who appears in the flashback sequence. He was previously portrayed by Cade Woodward in the first film, who is Dean's real-life older brother.
- Okieriete Onaodowan as Ronnie, a cop who is among the first to die when the creatures attack.
- Zachary Golinger as Emmett's son
- Lauren Ashley Cristiano as Emmett's wife
- Wayne Duvall as Roger, a grocery store owner.
- Barbara Singer as Woman in Store, an elderly woman at Roger's store.
A Quiet Place Part II was produced under Paramount Pictures with a budget of $61 million. It was written and directed by John Krasinski, who also produced the film alongside Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller.
Development and casting
Paramount produced the first film, A Quiet Place, on a budget of $17 million. The studio released the film in the United States and Canada in April 2018 and grossed $50.2 million on opening weekend, well above a mid-$20 million forecast. Later in April, Paramount Chair and CEO Jim Gianopulos announced that a sequel was in development. The first film grossed $188 million in the US and Canada and ultimately $340.9 million worldwide. John Krasinski, who co-wrote, directed and starred in the first film, said he considered it "as a one-off". Uncertain of finding similar success in a sequel, he initially told Paramount to seek another writer and director. The first film's screenwriters Scott Beck and Bryan Woods did not return for the sequel. Woods said they were not interested in a franchise approach and that they would rather try "to create original ideas" and use their writing credits "as an opportunity to push several projects". Beck said, "Instead of focusing on sequels per se, it's about investing back into the ecosystem of original ideas in a massive marketplace."
Three months after A Quiet Place's release, Krasinski decided to brainstorm ideas for a sequel. According to Krasinski, Paramount rejected pitches from other writers and directors that were considered too franchise-oriented. He said, "I had this small idea, which was to make Millie [Simmonds] the lead of the movie... her character opens the door to all the themes I was dealing with in the first movie." The studio invited him to write a script based on his idea. By August 2018, Krasinski was writing the film. He wrote a draft in three and a half weeks. In the following February, he was hired to direct the sequel, and actors Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe were confirmed to reprise their roles. In March, Cillian Murphy joined the cast. In the following June, Brian Tyree Henry joined the cast, but he left the film due to scheduling problems. He was replaced by Djimon Hounsou in August.
In June 2019, production began on the sequel. Filming officially commenced on July 15. There were 47 days of filming throughout Western New York, including locations like Akron, Olcott, Dunkirk, Lackawanna, and Buffalo. Other locations included Erie County and the city of North Tonawanda, and Barcelona Harbor in the town of Westfield in Chautauqua County. Filming also took place on a giant sound stage at Buffalo FilmWorks in South Buffalo. One of the last filming locations, the northbound South Grand Island Bridge, was shut down for 13 hours for filming.
In addition to Western New York, filming took place in the Hudson Valley, specifically the towns of Dover, Pawling, and New Paltz. In New Paltz, the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail was revisited to film on a bridge that featured in the first film. The production invested over $10 million in Upstate New York, created 400 hires, and involved 300 background actors. By late September, production was finished.
Polly Morgan was the cinematographer for A Quiet Place Part II, replacing Charlotte Bruus Christensen from the first film. Morgan continued the first film's use of 35 mm film and described its effect: "Although A Quiet Place 2 is a horror, it looks pretty and engaging, with a nostalgic look that you would find hard to achieve digitally." The film's "extensive dark situations" (night scenes and stage work that comprised 75% of screen time) were shot with Kodak Vision3 500T 5219 film stock, while Vision3 250D 5207 was used mainly for day exteriors. Morgan filmed with Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 cameras and T-Series anamorphic lenses, which had been adjusted to match the C-Series lenses Christensen used on the first film. One of Morgan's most challenging situations was lighting and shooting the furnace set.
The sequel's cinematography also evolved from its predecessor in following more action. Morgan described director Krasinski's intent, "John wanted to always keep the camera moving and create long 'oners' to play with rhythm and tension and to show how normal life can suddenly become very different and dangerous—all in the same shot." Morgan used an array of tracking vehicles, on which there were different camera mounts including jibs, cranes, and Steadicam vests, with the vehicles often going full speed.
For the sequel's sound design, supervising sound editors Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn and re-recording mixer Brandon Proctor reprised their roles. Krasinski instructed them to try to "follow the rules" set up in the first film and said of the experience, "What we found was by doing that, and not trying to be cool, we ended up uncovering way more stuff than we ever would've been able to [otherwise]."
When Paramount Pictures planned to commercially release A Quiet Place Part II in March 2020, the studio released a 30-second teaser trailer before select theatrical screenings of Black Christmas, which was released on December 13, 2019. Less than a week later, the teaser trailer became available online. A full trailer was released on January 1, 2020. During pre-game coverage before the Super Bowl on February 2, 2020, Paramount released a 30-second TV spot, which revealed that Krasinski reprised his role in a newly filmed flashback sequence.
In early March, Paramount initiated "survival room" experiences in New York and Los Angeles in which groups of visitors can try to overcome "physical and mental obstacles" without making too much noise. The setups cost less than a million dollars for Paramount. A marketing executive anticipated between seven thousand and eight thousand people to go through the experiences and for fans and social media influencers to engage in experiential marketing. Emily Blunt appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on March 10 to promote the film. She appeared in a parody commercial advertising A Quiet Plane, starring as a stewardess that enforces silence as a top priority to a plane's passengers. Before the film's postponement (see below), Paramount planned to host a double-feature event on March 18, 2020, that would screen the first and second films and give collectors prints to attendees.
Following the postponement of A Quiet Place Part II and other films during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, teleconferencing became popular, and Paramount's marketing team started providing virtual backgrounds of A Quiet Place Part II and other films to be available on Zoom Video Communications.
For the film's May 2021 release date after multiple postponements, Paramount released a final trailer several weeks before its release. The A.V. Club's William Hughes wrote that the new trailer was a retread of previous trailers with the most noteworthy element being its message that the film was the "experience that theaters are made for", to encourage increasingly-vaccinated moviegoers during the pandemic to go to movie theaters.
A Quiet Place Part II had its world premiere at the Lincoln Center in New York City on March 8, 2020. Paramount Pictures released the film in theaters on May 28, 2021 after a year's worth of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York Times reported that the film is "one of the first major films to receive an exclusive theatrical release from a Hollywood studio in the not-quite-post-coronavirus era". The studio will then release the film on Paramount+ 45 days after its theatrical release.
Originally set for March 20, 2020, Paramount had initially planned to move the release date up to May 15, 2020, before postponing it to September 4, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without a streaming service from 2020 to early 2021, Paramount auctioned off multiple upcoming feature films but decided to keep A Quiet Place Part II. The change to April 23, 2021 was the studio's second postponement, and the change to September 17, 2021, was the third postponement. After the postponements, it was moved earlier in the year to May 28, 2021.
The studio initially planned to release the film in theaters globally starting on March 18, 2020, before it delayed the film's release due to the pandemic. Paramount had already spent around 60% of its budget for global prints and advertising, and Deadline Hollywood wrote that the film's delay was "truly a shocker" because the P&A expense seemed to indicate that rescheduling was not an option. Director John Krasinski said he wanted moviegoers to see the film together and that with the pandemic, it was not the right time to provide that experience. A Quiet Place Part II is among the majority of theatrical releases not changing to a streaming release. CNBC wrote that in particular, the film and In the Heights were considered films best experienced with a crowd.
The film was initially to be released in the United Kingdom and Australia on March 19, 2020, and in the United States and Canada, including Dolby Cinema and IMAX, on March 20, 2020. Paramount initially stated on March 6 that it would not reschedule the film in response to the pandemic, but on March 12, the studio pulled the film from release worldwide with the intent of scheduling it later in the year. In April 2020, it announced the release date of September 4, 2020. The September release date would have been the start of the US holiday weekend Labor Day Weekend. Deadline Hollywood wrote at the time that the weekend is "summer [box office's] finale" and "typically the deadest period ever for moviegoing" but that the studio anticipated pent-up demand after pandemic fears subside.
In July 2020, Paramount changed the film's release date from September 4, 2020 to April 23, 2021. At the time of announcement, movie theaters in the United States and Canada had been closed for nearly four months, and the pandemic was continuing to spread across the United States. The second postponement followed other studios' decisions at the time to indefinitely delay the Warner Bros. film Tenet and the Disney film Mulan. Variety reported, "While those films had been long positioned to help revive moviegoing, sources say that Paramount did not want 'A Quiet Place Part 2' to stay on Labor Day weekend and have the pressure of being the first new movie out of the gate during the pandemic."
In January 2021, Paramount postponed the film's release from April 23, 2021 to September 17, 2021. At the time of postponement, COVID-19 infections had surged in the United States in recent months. Variety wrote of the circumstances in the United States and Canada, "Around 65% of movie theaters remain closed, and cinemas that have stayed open have struggled to sell tickets." The postponement followed other studios' postponements of their films No Time to Die, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Morbius, Cinderella, and The King's Man. On the September 2021 date at the time, A Quiet Place Part II would have been scheduled to open against Death on the Nile, The Boss Baby: Family Business, and The Man from Toronto, all three of which later had their own dates shifted.
In February 2021, Paramount announced that A Quiet Place Part II would become available on its streaming service Paramount+ 45 days after its theatrical release. Deadline Hollywood reported that it was "a clear sign that Paramount is committed to theatrical, but still open to the future of streaming". Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, movie theater operators sought for films to be theatrically released for 90 days before being released on home media. As a result of the pandemic, Warner Bros. opted to release their 2021 slate of films on HBO Max the same day as in theaters, and Universal Pictures made its films available via video-on-demand 17 days after their theatrical releases. Variety reported, "Paramount's strategy may be received the most favorably among film exhibitors," with A Quiet Place Part II among Paramount's tentpole films having the 45-day frame and its other titles having a 30-day frame. Boxoffice Pro reported that the original film grossed 94% of its total gross of $188 million in the United States and Canada by its 45th day, which indicated that Paramount's "decision works more in favor of exhibitors than against".
On March 4, 2021, director John Krasinski announced that the release date would be moved earlier from September 17, 2021, to May 28, 2021, which is the start of Memorial Day holiday weekend in the United States. Boxoffice Pro wrote, "This marks the first time post-pandemic that a theatrically exclusive major studio tentpole has moved a planned release up by this many months rather than back." The publication also wrote that the film would be "the first live-action tentpole exclusively in theaters" since Tenet was released in August 2020.
Earlier in the day of Krasinski's announcement, Universal Pictures had postponed the action film F9 from late May 2021 to June 25, 2021. In the move-up process, Paramount postponed another of its films, Infinite, from the May 28 release date to September 24, 2021. Deadline Hollywood reported that Paramount was encouraged to release A Quiet Place Part II earlier due to theaters reopening in New York City starting the weekend of March 5, 2021 and with plans for theaters in Los Angeles to also reopen in the near future.
As a result of Paramount shortening the theatrical run from 90 days to 45, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, and producers including Michael Bay whose compensation depends on box-office receipts, requested for the studio to compensate them for the shorter run.
For its theatrical release on May 28, 2021, A Quiet Place Part II was released in 3,752 theaters in the United States and Canada.
The film will also be released in 12 other markets on its opening weekend, including China as a last-minute addition.
Before A Quiet Place Part II was postponed from late March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boxoffice Pro predicted the film would gross $72 million on its opening weekend based on the first film's opening weekend ($50.2 million) and the continued involvement of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, but noted that the film would face competition from films such as Mulan. In February, early industry tracking had the film debuting to around $55–60 million. Deadline Hollywood's Anthony D'Alessandro wrote, "A Quiet Place Part II is currently strong with females under 25, African Americans and Hispanic demos, but overall I hear it's strong with all quads."
For 2021 theatrical release, Boxoffice Pro forecast that the film would gross between $30 million and $50 million on its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, with a total gross between $75 million and $125 million. IndieWire wrote, "It has a core male audience that skews younger with minority moviegoers, along with strong interest and critical support," and predicted between $40 to $50 million. According to Fandango, US advance ticket sales were double the sales from the planned March 2020 release and also more than the sales for the first film in 2018. The film made $19.3 million on its first day, including $4.8 million from Thursday night previews, topping the $4.3 million figure of the first film; both grosses were the highest of the pandemic. It went on to debut to $48.3 million in its opening weekend and a total of $58.5 million over the four day frame, topping the box office and marking the biggest opening weekend since Sonic the Hedgehog in February 2020. In its sophomore weekend the film grossed $19.5 million, finishing second behind The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. The film crossed the $100 million domestic mark on June 11, becoming the first film of the pandemic to do so. In its third weekend the film regained the top spot, upsetting newcomer In the Heights with $12 million.
A Quiet Place Part II received mainly positive reviews from film critics. Screen Rant said the film received "highly positive" reviews, with critics praising its "two-pronged story" and the introduction of Cillian Murphy's character. Meanwhile, The Independent wrote that critics were divided. The film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported, "The first reviews are out and mostly positive on both fronts, even if not all of them agree on the sequel being at least as good as the original."
Rotten Tomatoes, which categorizes reviews as positive or negative, assessed 287 reviews and determined 91% of them to be positive, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "A nerve-wracking continuation of its predecessor, A Quiet Place Part II expands the terrifying world of the franchise without losing track of its heart." According to review aggregator Metacritic, the film received "generally favorable reviews", with a weighted score of 71 out of 100 based on 56 critics. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, an improvement from the first film's B+ score. PostTrak reported 83% of audience members gave it a positive score, with 63% saying they would definitely recommend it.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 4 stars out of 5, stating that "This sequel from writer-director John Krasinski may not quite have all its focus and intimate horror, while the borrowings from Alien, Jurassic Park and Jaws are admittedly more obvious this time around. But it’s a really effective and engrossing followup, with an absolutely sensational “prelude” sequence at the top of the movie, a barnstorming shocker equal to anything in AQP1." He also praised the performances of Millicent Simmonds and Cillian Murphy, stating that "Simmonds is an excellent performer: bold, confident and forthright, holding her own opposite the alpha-emoting presence of Murphy." Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times gave the film a positive review, stating that "And while this new installment is, like its predecessor, wonderfully acted and intuitively directed (by John Krasinski, who is solely responsible for the story this time around), it has also largely replaced the hushed horror of the original with full-on action. Faster, coarser and far noisier, “Part II” sacrifices emotional depth for thriller setups that do less to advance the plot than grow the younger characters" and "Though in many respects an exemplary piece of filmmaking, 'Part II' remains hobbled by a script that resolves two separate crises while leaving the movie itself in limbo." Justin Chang of NPR said that "'A Quiet Place Part II' [is] an unexpectedly resonant film for the present moment as this country slowly emerges from a crisis that — while surely less terrifying than an alien apocalypse — has revealed humanity at its best and its worst" and praised Krasinski's direction, saying that "Not being able to fall back on verbal exposition has forced Krasinski to become a ruthlessly efficient visual storyteller. It's often said that Alfred Hitchcock's movies are so sharply directed, you could turn the sound off and still follow the action — a truth that applies to these movies as well."
Bloody Disgusting rated the film 3.5/5 and called it "a satisfying, worthwhile sequel." The A.V. Club gave it a B- but remarked that it was "a part two in the classic, traditional sense, echoing without quite amplifying the pleasures of its predecessor." io9 declared that the film was "a quintessential great sequel." Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com gave the film three out of four stars, criticizing Krasinski for not taking risks but praising its "incredibly robust and kinetic" action scenes.
In November 2020, Paramount Pictures hired Jeff Nichols to write and direct a spin-off based on an original idea from John Krasinski, who will produce. The film is scheduled to be released on March 31, 2023.
In May 2021, Emily Blunt revealed that Krasinski has an idea for a potential third main installment.
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