Jordan Peele's Us scares up biggest opening weekend for original horror movie
The opening box office for Jordan Peele’s Us is anything but scary.
The comedian turned auteur proved his power at the box office, following up his 2017 directorial debut Get Out with an even bigger opening. The horror film debuted to an impressive estimated haul of $70.3 million in ticket sales at 3,741 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday. It marks the best opening ever for an original horror title and the third biggest horror opening of all-time behind the 2017 It remake ($123.4 million) and last year’s Halloween sequel ($76.2 million).
Holdovers rounded out the top three with Captain Marvel continuing to stay strong in its third week, taking in an estimated $35 million across 4,278 theaters. Third place goes to animated family flick Wonder Park with an estimated $9 million in ticket sales across 3,838 theaters.
Us marks Jordan Peele’s second outing as a director and he is proving to be a massive force at the box office. The film stars Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson, a young mother who returns to her seaside home alongside her husband (Winston Duke) and two children. Things get scary when they find themselves facing off against their terrifying doppelgängers.
Already making records at the box office, Us blew past the $33.4 million opening of Peele’s directorial debut Get Out. That cultural phenomenon went on to gross $176 million domestically and $254.4 million globally, as well as proving to be a major force of social commentary and garnering Peele an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Get Out massively profited on top of its tiny budget, and Us is looking to do the same, raking in an estimated $16.7 million abroad, leading to a total opening debut of $87 million, which easily blows past the film’s reported $20 million production budget.
If that’s not enough, Us also becomes the biggest debut for an R-rated original title ahead of 2012’s Ted, which opened to $54.4 million. It also marks the second biggest debut of 2019 behind the global juggernaut that is Captain Marvel.
Speaking of Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel continues to etch her place in her-story with a $35 million domestic total its third weekend out. The Brie Larson-led superhero film officially passed $900 million at the global box office this weekend bringing its cumulative total to $910.3 million. The film is now the 10th highest grossing superhero film of all-time (not adjusted for inflation). Larson will return as the titular character in April’s Avengers: Endgame, for what’s sure to be another box office beast.
Controversy-plagued Wonder Park takes third place with its estimated total of $9 million in its second weekend across 3,838 screens. This brings its cumulative total to $29.5 million, still falling far below its estimated $100 million production budget. The animated family film tells the story of a young girl named June and her imaginative amusement park that comes to life. Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, Jeffrey Tambor, Kenan Thompson, Norbert Leo Butz, Ken Jeong, and John Oliver lend their vocal talents to the project, which suffered a setback in Jan. 2018 when director Dylan Brown was fired for “inappropriate and unwanted conduct.”
No other new releases this weekend made the top 10. Teen drama Five Feet Apart takes fourth place, showing remarkable staying power in its second week, falling only 34% from its debut last weekend. The Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson-led film took in an estimated $8.8 million at the box office across 2,866 screens. Impressively, this tale of love between two cystic fibrosis patients scored fourth place with almost more than 1,000 screens less than third place finisher Wonder Park. Alongside A Madea Family Funeral and No Manches Frida 2, Five Feet Apart helps Lionsgate keep three films in the top ten for the second week running.
Franchise success story How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World rounds out the top five with an estimated $6.5 million across 3,347 screens in its fifth weekend. Its worldwide total is now $488.1 million, placing it just below the $494.9 million total worldwide gross of the original How to Train Your Dragon film.
A24’s Gloria Bell cracked the top ten for the first time in its third week in theaters, expanding its locations from 39 to 654 theaters for a total of $1.8 million, good for seventh place. The film is earning raves for leading lady Julianne Moore, who stars as the titular free-spirited divorcée who finds fulfillment in letting loose on late night dance floors.
Overall box office is down 17 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore, a number that’s steadily improving with the help of Captain Marvel and now Us. Check out the March 22-24 numbers below.
1. Us— $70.3 million
2. Captain Marvel— $35 million
3. Wonder Park— $9 million
4. Five Feet Apart— $8.8 million
5. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World— $6.5 million
6. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral— $4.5 million
7. Gloria Bell— $1.8 million
8. No Manches Frida 2— $1.8 million
9. Lego Movie 2: The Second Part— $1.1 million
10. Alita: Battle Angel— $1 million