A Quiet Place to get a sequel

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LAS VEGAS — Paramount Pictures said Wednesday that hit horror movie A Quiet Place was getting a sequel and ended mounting speculation over its lucrative Star Trek franchise by confirming two new movies.

Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos opened the studio’s segment at the annual CinemaCon film industry convention in Las Vegas with the news, praising director John Krasinski, who stars in the monster invasion thriller opposite real-life wife Emily Blunt.

“If you told me five years ago that an almost silent film starring the very funny guy Jim from The Office would have been a hit at Paramount, I would have said: ‘Well, I should go work at Paramount,’” said Mr. Gianopulos, who joined the studio a year ago.

A Quiet Place, which regained top spot at the North American box office over the weekend, has amassed more than $200 million in revenue worldwide against a budget of just $17 million and is Paramount’s biggest hit since 2016’s Star Trek Beyond.

It has been a ray of light in a dark year or more for Paramount, which has struggled to make the box-office impact of its “big six” rival studios, all of which are presenting at CinemaCon.

Since the third of the rebooted Star Trek movies recouped almost $350 million globally, Paramount’s high-profile flops have included Ben-Hur, mother!, and Matt Damon vehicles Suburbicon and Downsizing.

Mr. Gianopulos acknowledged the studio had suffered a rough year but vowed that Paramount was “laying the foundation” to repeat its past successes.

“I’m incredibly confident that we have the right team, culture, and attitude in place to take Paramount to new heights,” he said.

“And we already started on that road to giant success with A Quiet Place.”

Mr. Gianopulos announced a string of sequels in partnership with Skydance Media, including a new Terminator with Linda Hamilton from the original movie back on board with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Top Gun: Maverick with Tom Cruise — and two new Star Trek films.

Tantalizingly, he offered no details and it remains unclear if these will be a continuation of the reboot franchise or if they include a previously announced Star Trek movie from Pulp Fiction director Quentin Tarantino.

Paramount initially said after Star Trek Beyond came out that a fourth release would bring back Thor star Chris Hemsworth as Captain James Kirk’s father, George.

J.J. Abrams, the creative force behind the 2009-2016 reboots, wasn’t at CinemaCon but he appeared onstage at Caesar’s Palace to promote horror movie Overlord, the first R-rated release from his Bad Robot production company.

Abrams scotched rumors that the World War II Nazi experiments shocker would be another release in the Cloverfield series.

But he added that he was planning a genuine theatrical sequel to 2008 found-footage thriller Cloverfield, unlike the most recent film in the franchise, the critically panned Netflix February release The Cloverfield Paradox. — AFP