Sunday is 7% better than the $15.7M originally expected yesterday. Though exit polls for Us (B CinemaScore, 80% overall PostTrak positive) were behind Get Out‘s (A- CinemaScore, 84% positive), that never stopped the box office momentum for Peele’s latest. Essentially, the pic’s ending has folks divided, and that’s why those exits are lower. Nonetheless, it has moviegoers talking, and that word of mouth is driving tickets sales coupled with Peele’s brand wattage. The biggest inherent selling tool all along for Us was Get Out, and audiences wanted more Peele. We always write about how the star system no longer works at the box office, but directors like Peele, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino and to varying degrees Steven Spielberg; their names alone sell their movies, and designate them as events. And it’s through them that original IP can find a way to live in a franchise-laden B.O. world.
Industry expectations at this point in time is that Us will ease 50% in weekend 2 with around $35M-$36M as Disney’s Dumbo flies in with a $65M start. Note, Get Out‘s second weekend dip of 15% was quite rare for a horror pic as they tend to drop on average 60% in weekend 2.
As we wrote throughout the weekend, such records broken by Us include becoming the highest-grossing original horror opening ever (passing A Quiet Place’ $50.2M), the highest-grossing original R-rated opening ever (passing Universal’s Ted); the best opening for an original movie since 2009’s Avatar ($77M) and the best opening for an original live action title in March.
To date Us is the second best debut of the year after Captain Marvel, with Universal notching the year’s second, third best (How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World—$55 million), and fourth best (Glass—$40.3 million) debuts at the domestic B.O.
Here’s our report on how Universal’s marketing campaign for Us pushed the Peele pic to a weekend win.