Anyone who maintained any lingering doubts about whether Get Out was a fluke is cordially invited to show themselves the door. Jordan Peele’s sophomore effort as a writer/director, Us, made a massive $70 million at the domestic box office this past weekend, multiplying its impressive $7.4 million Thursday night preview numbers by a factor of 10. That’s on top of the film’s 94 percent “Fresh” rating on critical aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, a pair of accolades—as hesitant as we are to even mention twins, given the film’s doppelgänger theme—that solidify Peele’s place not only as a powerful auteur in the horror genre, but as a household name. As Josh Gad, of all people, pointed out on Twitter yesterday:
That $70 million opening weekend is the second-best this year after Captain Marvel’s $153 million opening, as well as the biggest domestic opening ever for an original R-rated movie and the biggest domestic opening ever for an original horror movie. And yes, that’s not adjusting for inflation, which is why these records are broken so often—the aforementioned records were previously held by Ted and A Quiet Place, respectively—but why ruin everyone’s good time?
The fact is, Us leapfrogged over the so-called “sophomore slump” both financially and critically, and that’s good news for horror fans. It also further smashes the myth that films starring people of color don’t make for big box office—another net positive for humanity, even if you don’t like scary movies. And did we mention it only cost $20 million to make, meaning it’s already more than tripled its budget domestically—quadrupled, if you include the $16.7 million it made overseas last weekend? And with buzz continuing to build on social media, Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Universal could very well have five on it by the end of the day.
Aside from Us, it was a quiet weekend at American theaters: No other major studio dared open a wide-release title opposite Peele’s highly anticipated latest, and the No. 2 film, Captain Marvel, only pulled in half that of its competitor with a $35 million weekend. A24's Gloria Bell did well in its expansion from very limited to not-quite-wide release, jumping from No. 18 to No. 7 with the addition of 615 new theater screens, and in limited release, Hotel Mumbai managed to squeak past Us’ $18,778 average with $21,623 on each of its four screens for the week’s best per-theater average.