BOX OFFICE: Jordan Peele’s US Exceeds All Expectations with $70 Million Opening

Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up!
The one big wide release this weekend was Us, Jordan Peele’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning 2017 horror blockbuster Get Out. Universal opened the Blumhouse production in 3,741 theaters this weekend, and after a whopping $7.2 million in Thursday previews, Us racked up an estimated $70 million in its first weekend.
Starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke — both of whom appeared in last year’s blockbuster Black Panther — the movie came into the weekend with solid reviews and much anticipation from word-of-mouth after its SXSW premiere earlier in the month. The $7.2 million on Thursday night was a sure sign that the movie might exceed expectations, and that was added into the movie’s $29.1 million opening day.
Besides being the third biggest opening for a horror movie (regardless of rating), Us had the biggest opening for an original live action movie i.e. not one based on other properties or part of a franchise since James Cameron’s Avatar way back in 2009. (Original animated films like Zootopia and The Incredibles did open higher, but they also benefitted from being PG Disney movies.) Still, Us has officially achieved the biggest opening for an original horror movie, and that doesn’t seem like a record that might be broken anytime soon.
Most of the projections for Us were somewhere in the range of $40 to 50 million — I predicted $51 million — so this is a huge coup for Peele and Blumhouse, who produced the movie for a paltry $20 million. Even with the money Universal spent to promote the movie, it’s easily going to be profitable based on its performance in North America alone.
Although Peele’s film received a less-than-stellar “B” CinemaScore, word-of-mouth (and people trying to figure out all the moving pieces) should continue to drive business over the next month or so, especially without much direct genre competition until early April’s Pet Sematary (which actually should be helped by Us faring so well).
Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, dropped 48% to second place with $35 million in its third weekend, becoming the first movie of 2019 to cross the $300 milestone with $321.5 million. Overseas business has helped Captain Marvel surpass the $900 million benchmark, so it’s already the seventh highest-grossing Marvel movies in terms of global box office. It’s a little further back when you include Warners’ superhero movies, including The Dark Knight, its sequel and Aquaman, but Captain Marvel is still only in its third weekend of release. We’ll have to see if Captain Marvel catches up with Wonder Woman domestically, especially with another DCEU movie coming up in two weeks in the well-reviewed Shazam!
Us didn’t have too much of an effect on the other returning movies as Paramount’s animated Wonder Park dropped to third place with $9 million (down 43%) followed by CBS Films’ Five Feet Apart in fourth with $8.7 million (down 34%).
DreamWorks Animations’ How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has begun to slow down, as it reaches $145 million in its fifth week and still has to get past Disney’s Dumbo next week if it wants to achieve the success of the previous installments.
On the other hand, Tyler Perry is having decent success with his latest and last Madea movie, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral, which has surpassed all but two previous Madea movies with $65.9 million in four weeks. It dropped to sixth place with $4.5 million this week, and it might have a hard time getting past Boo! A Madea Halloween‘s $73.2 million domestic gross.
A24 expanded Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria Bell, starring Julianne Moore, into 654 theaters in which it took in $1.8 million, enough for the indie drama to enter the top 10 at #7.
The biggest limited release of the week was Bleecker Street’s Hotel Mumbai, starring Dev Patel, Armie Hammer and Jason Isaacs, which opened in four theaters in New York and L.A. Its $86,492

This Week’s Top 10:

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 New Us Universal $70.2 million N/A $70.2 million
2 1 Captain Marvel Marvel/Disney $35 million -48% $321.5 million
3 2 Wonder Park Paramount $9 million -43% $13.2 million
4 3 Five Feet Apart CBS Films $8.8 million -34% $26.5 million
5 4 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World DreamWorks $6.5 million -30% $145.7 million
6 5 Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral Lionsgate $4.5 million -43% $65.9 million
7 18 Gloria Bell A24 $1.8 million +394.5% $2.5 million
8 6 No Manches Frida 2 Pantelion $1.8 million -54% $6.6 million
9 8 The LEGO Movie 2 Warner Bros. $1.1 million -48% $103.3 million
10 9 Alita: Battle Angel 20th Century Fox $1 million -497% $83.7 million

Thanks to the success of Peele’s horror film, the top 10 was up 22% from the same weekend last year when Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One was #1 with $43.2 million followed WAY behind in second place with Tyler Perry’s Acrimony with $14.3 million.
Check back on Wednesday for The Beat’s Box Office Preview which will look at Tim Burton’s new movie, a live action version of the Disney classic Dumbo, plus a few other movies.


  1. Good to see a movie that isn’t a sequel, a remake or part of a franchise opening at No. 1. That doesn’t happen much anymore.

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