When Warner Bros. announced that every one of its 2021 releases would be dropped day and date on HBO Max, several high profile directors and actors did not react well to that news because it impacted the amount of money they could make based on a film’s theatrical performance. Fast forward several months, and a similar conversation is happening again, this time at Paramount.
John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, the creative forces involved in A Quiet Place Part II, are in a battle with the studio over their paydays for the upcoming sequel, which will likely be significant impacted by Paramount’s decision to put its new films on the new Paramount+ streaming service just 45 days after it debuts.
In February, Paramount announced that it plans to put big movies like Mission: Impossible 7 and Top Gun: Maverick on its new streaming service 45 days after they’re released in theaters, instead of keeping the typical 90 day window intact. That decision also applies to A Quiet Place Part II, and a new report from Bloomberg says that Krasinski, the film’s writer and director, and Blunt, its primary star, are not thrilled about it.
Their contract is directly tied to the movie’s box office performance – which, in a non-pandemic time, would be great for them, considering the 2018 original became a huge hit, making $341 million on a $20 million budget. But with some movie theaters still restricting their capacities, and audiences not back in the habit of visiting movie theaters in person, they fear that people will just wait the 45 days and see it on Paramount+, which would majorly impact the amount of money they would make. (Bloomberg says “tens of millions of dollars” are at stake.)
Paramount has so far “rebuffed” their efforts to obtain compensation that would approximate how the film might perform under better circumstances, and the studio has also turned down a request for more money from Michael Bay, who is one of the producers on the movie and who also stands to lose money from its shortened theatrical window.
WB eventually paid off big names like The Little Things star Denzel Washington, who were impacted by its HBO Max decision. I’ll be curious to see if we get a follow-up to this report about Paramount, because it seems likely that Tom Cruise has similar language in his contract about box office bonuses that will also be impacted by the studio’s choices. What happens with Krasinski and Blunt could set a precedent that the studio might have to stick to for the foreseeable future.
A Quiet Place Part II arrives in theaters on May 28, 2021.
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