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Paramount+ is betting it can use big movies like 'A Quiet Place Part II' to attract new subscribers without tanking box-office returns

a quiet place 2 emily blunt
Emily Blunt in "A Quiet Place Part II"
Paramount Pictures

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  • "A Quiet Place Part II" debuted on Paramount+ on Tuesday after a 45-day theatrical window.
  • It's part of Paramount's strategy to explore different windowing options.
  • It's also a test to see if the strategy can lure subscribers to the fledgling ViacomCBS streamer.
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"A Quiet Place Part II" is now streaming on Paramount+ after a successful exclusive theatrical run. 

The movie has been one of the biggest theatrical releases of the year as theaters slowly inch toward recovery amid the pandemic. It's grossed $280 million worldwide, $151 of which has been in North America. It's currently the No. 1 movie at the domestic box office so far this year.

It's still going strong at the box office and is the only blockbuster to perform at pre-pandemic expectations domestically. Over the weekend — its seventh in theaters — it earned $3 million and has held steady with small drops from weekend to weekend.

Now it's Paramount's first test of its shortened 45-day theatrical window. It will be a major step in Paramount+'s efforts to lure potential subscribers (the movie is also available to rent on digital platforms like iTunes and Prime Video for $20). 

ViacomCBS hasn't announced hard subscriber numbers for Paramount+, which was rebranded and expanded from CBS All Access in March. But the company said during its Q1 earnings report in May that it gained 6 million subscribers across its streaming services in the quarter, which also includes Showtime's streaming component and BET+. 

Still, there are some indications that the company's renewed streaming efforts could face hurdles. 

In an April survey of 2,000 respondents by UBS Evidence Lab, Paramount+ was among the streaming services that seemed most at risk from churn, following Showtime and Lionsgate's Starz. If subscribers do cancel, it could put pressure on Paramount+'s windowing model to be successful in attracting new users.

Before the pandemic, the typical theatrical window was 75 days to 90 days. Now, studios including Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. have struck varying deals to dramatically shorten the amount of time theaters get exclusive play of their movies. 

Universal was the first to hammer out such agreements with the major chains. Any Universal movie that opens above $50 million at the box office gets a 31-day window and those that open below that get a 17-day window, at which point Universal can choose to release the movies on digital-rental platforms.

Warner Bros. is releasing all of its movies simultaneously to theaters and on HBO Max this year, but has struck a deal with Cineworld for a 45-day window beginning in 2022 (it will still make exclusive movies for Max).

Paramount announced its own windowing plans during parent company ViacomCBS's investor day in February, noting that tentpole releases like "A Quiet Place Part II" and "Mission: Impossible 7" would get 45-day windows before moving to Paramount+ (the latter, though, was recently delayed from November 2021 to May 2022).

The studio will explore different windowing strategies throughout this year and beyond, ranging from a 30-day or 45-day window to a longer, more traditional window, to simultaneous theatrical and streaming releases.

The "G.I. Joe" origin movie "Snake Eyes" and "Top Gun: Maverick," which debut in theaters this year, are expected to hit the streaming service in 2022. The studio's "Paw Patrol" movie will arrive in theaters and on Paramount+ simultaneously this summer.

Are you a Paramount staffer with more to share? Email the author at tclark@insider.com or DM him on Twitter @TravClark2

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