A little more than two years after his Oscar-winning feature directorial debut and $255M-plus grossing Get Out, filmmaker Jordan Peele has returned with his second film, Us about an African American family and how their serene life turns to chaos after encountering their doppelgängers.
Universal shifted the pic, produced by Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, a week later in order for Us to collect some momentum following its March 8 SXSW world premiere. Uni is happy if the pic replicates the opening success of Get Out which was $33.3M, but tracking sees Us at $45M and some believe the Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke genre pic could hit $50M. Get Out was the sneak screening at Sundance in 2017 and rode that momentum from January all the way to its Feb. 24 release.
Us, benefits by being the only major studio opener this weekend, however, many say it’s different from Get Out which makes it a tad wild to predict. This despite the fact that both are R-rated pics. Word is Us demands a repeat viewing given its intriguing ending. Will be interesting to see if that spurs business in future weeks. As Deadline’s Dino Ramos observed at SXSW, “The Get Out follow-up is not a ‘social horror’ that many might expect. It is a straight horror reminiscent of ’80s thrillers but is filled with Peele’s distinct filmmaking eye and his clever balance of horror and comedy.”
Get Out defied horror box office conventions, and wasn’t front-loaded seeing a 12% spike between its Friday to Saturday (from $10.8M to $12.6M) and a second weekend ease of -15%; phenomenal for a horror movie which typically drops an average of -60% in weekend 2. Buzz is that Nyong’o is receiving an awards season push for her turn as a mother who battles some PTSD over her experiences at the beach. She has a double-whammy this year: Her turn as a ukulele playing Kindergarten teacher who defends her students from zombies in the NEON Sundance acquisition Little Monsters is a delight, a different facet we haven’t seen before, different from her 12 Years a Slave Best Supporting Actress Oscar winning performance.
Like Get Out which went into its opening weekend with a near perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, Us sits at 99% fresh right now from 68 reviews. There are more critics screenings tonight.
Ninety percent of Get Out‘s business came from walk-ups versus advance ticket sales, which indicates word of mouth was in full effect over its opening weekend, fueling business. Get Out on Screen Engine/ComScore’s PostTrack pulled in 38% African American, 35% Caucasian, 16% Hispanic and 10% Asian. CinemaScore showed the 18-24 bunch repping close to a third of all moviegoers who gave Get Out an A+. Older females (53%) over 25 (61%) were the main crowd on Get Out‘s opening night. In regards to Get Out‘s top venues during its first three days, it played broad with Atlanta’s Atlantic Station No. 1, the Hollywood Arclight second, the Empire in Manhattan, then 42 Court Street in Brooklyn.
We’re hearing Us is tracking best with women under 25 and African Americans. Previews start Thursday at 7PM.
Sean McKittrick and Jason Blum also produced Us. The pic will be going out in 48 offshore markets including France, Brazil, Germany, Spain and the U.K & Ireland, with additional rollouts in the spring. Get Out made just over a third of its global $255.4M or $79.3M at the foreign B.O.
What of Captain Marvel as Us comes to prey on the box office? We hear she’s apt to shed 40% in weekend 3 for a $40M-ish 3-day. She’s currently at $270M, and will soon see the $300M mark. Yesterday, Captain Marvel reached $779.2M, passing Guardians of the Galaxy ($773M) globally to become the #21 global superhero pic of all-time.