Jordan Peele’s horror flick “Us” stormed the box office with a $70.3 million opening weekend debut.
“Us”, Peele’s second directorial effort after 2017’s “Get Out”, centers on a Black family being terrorized by doppelgangers. Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph star as the beleaguered Wilson’s in the thriller which has broken multiple records in one weekend. “Us” is now the largest-ever debut for an original horror film and one of the biggest openings for a live-action original film since “Avatar” was released 10 years ago. It is also the second-best debut of the year behind just Disney’s “Captain Marvel” which bowed with $153 million earlier this month.
The blockbuster has already made back its $20 million budget.
“Get Out certainly paved the way, but this level of box office is attributable to the extraordinary filmmaking, the performances and the writing,” Jim Orr, Universal domestic distribution president, said. “This success very much lands at the feet of Jordan Peele. He has such a broad fan base.”
Leading up to the release of “Us”, tracking suggested that the movie would pull in $40 million domestically. The forecast grew over the weekend as word of mouth spread and audiences reacted positively to the latest offering in the horror genre. Industry experts are crediting that enthusiasm to the standard of excellence that Oscar award winner Peele has set.
“The trajectory of Jordan Peele’s filmmaking career is truly astonishing given that this is only his second feature film. Get Out created a halo effect for Peele as a brand unto himself and his reputation has made him one of the few directors who by name alone is a box office draw,” Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore, said.
“Usually this process takes years and several films to establish, but Peele has made a huge impression by virtue of his ability to scare the crap out of audiences, make them think and have them gladly coming back for more,” Dergarabedian continues. “Simply put, Peele makes the biggest, scariest roller-coaster ride in the theme park and as we all know, those are the ones with the longest lines.”