This Box Office weekend was all about Jordan Peele, as the acclaimed director’s sophomore release ‘Us’ broke new ground with its $71m opening. Not only does it become the biggest original horror opening of all time, it now stands as the 6th largest opening for any original film in U.S. history. It’s easy, then, to forget about the other films gracing the top 10 this weekend, including ‘Captain Marvel’, who draws ever closer to the coveted $1bn mark.
How did the new releases get on?
Peele and Blumhouse, on the back of ‘Get Out’s resounding success 2 years ago, further cemented themselves as having horror’s Midas touch with ‘Us’, the sole entrant of the weekend. It took full advantage of the lack competition by Friday night, with the film already earning an unprecedented $28.9m – almost matching ‘Get Out’s entire opening weekend ($33m).
It’s $71.1m opening catapults it ahead of ‘A Quiet Place’ as the biggest original horror opening of all time, and now sits in 4th place in the all-time horror movie openings, behind last year’s ‘Halloween’ ($76.2m), 2007’s ‘I Am Legend’ ($77.2m), and 2017’s ‘It’ ($123.4m).
As mentioned before, its opening makes it the 6th biggest for an original film in the U.S., and the 2nd biggest original live-action release after ‘Avatar’ ($77m). It also overtakes ‘Ted’ ($54.5m) as the biggest opening for an original, R-rated film, and stands as the 2nd largest opening of 2019 so far, after ‘Captain Marvel’ earned over $150m a few weeks prior.
The question to be asked now is, where can this film go? The film’s success was primarily built on anticipation for more Peele after ‘Get Out’s critical and commercial success, as well as the positive reception ‘Us’ garnered before general release. Audience feedback post-opening’s been a little more polarising however, which could see ‘Us’ land a 2nd weekend drop larger than ‘Get Out’s remarkable -15% fall, especially considering the differences in Cinemascores (B vs. A-). ‘Us’, in theory, should still hit $200m domestically however, again besting ‘Get Out’s $176m domestic total and further cementing Peele as a Box Office draw.
How did the others do?
Although ‘Captain Marvel’ dropped into 2nd place this weekend, its Box Office performance still continues to impress both stateside and internationally. This weekend saw the latest in the MCU franchise earn $34.3m domestically for a $320.7m running total – the 10th biggest in the MCU thus far. ‘Captain Marvel’s now virtually guaranteed to become only the 7th film in the MCU to hit $400m domestically, and just the 2nd solo film after ‘Black Panther’ earned $700m.
Internationally, it’s fairing even better, earning $52.1m this weekend to keep it above new entrant ‘Us’ ($16.7m). Its global total of $912m puts it ahead of all Spider-Man films, as well as ‘Wonder Woman’, thus making it the 11th biggest superhero movie of all time. Next on its hit-list is ‘The Dark Knight’ at $1bn, which will be met by the end of its run.
This weekend also saw ‘Wonder Park’ and ‘Five Feet Apart’ continuing their similar Box Office runs with $8.8m and $8.5m each, although their respective successes differ wildly, with ‘Wonder Park’s domestic total of $29.2m branding the $100m-budgeted animation as one of 2019’s biggest flops, considering its $200m+ break-even mark.
‘Five Feet Apart’ on the other hand cost a measly $7m, and will comfortably bring in a tidy profit for Lionsgate and CBS once out of cinemas. Currently sitting on a $26m gross after just 2 weekends, it’s ahead of similar teenage romantic dramas such as ‘Everything, Everything’, and ‘Paper Towns’ at similar points in their runs. Both films closed at around $35m, meaning ‘Five Feet’ should easily hit at least $40m by the time it’s pulled.
Finally, this weekend saw the wide expansion of A24 drama ‘Gloria Bell’, starring Julianne Moore as the title character, alongside John Turturro, Holland Taylor, Michael Cera, and Sean Astin. Entering 650 cinemas from last weekend’s 4 saw it gross a disappointing $1.7m for a running total of $2.3m.