'Us' had the biggest opening weekend ever for an original horror movie, passing 'A Quiet Place'

  • Jordan Peele’s latest movie “Us,” the follow-up to his hit directorial debut “Get Out,” earned $US70.3 million in its opening weekend.
  • That’s the biggest opening ever for an original horror movie.
  • It beat previous record holder, “A Quiet Place.”

Over the weekend, Jordan Peele cemented his thrillers into the hall of box office crazes.

After Peele’s writing-directing debut, “Get Out,” earned over $US225 million worldwide on a $US4.5 million budget in 2017 (Peele also won a best original screenplay Oscar), his follow-up, “Us,” has hit theatres and is already breaking box office records.

The $US20 million horror movie that follows a family as they are terrorised by a group of people who look exactly like them has blasted through industry projections (which early in the week was around $US45 million) to have the highest opening weekend ever for an original horror movie, with an estimated $US70.3 million.

That tops the previous record holder, 2018’s “A Quiet Place,” which had a $US50.2 million opening (it would go on to earn over $US340 million worldwide).

Things were looking good for Peele’s movie on Thursday when “Us” took in $US7.4 million at preview screenings. That’s better than “Get Out,” “A Quiet Place,” and another recent horror hit, “The Nun.” The $US7.4 million was part of the $US29 million “Us” took in on Friday. It then took in $US25.5 million on Saturday.

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The record-breaking performance by “Us” continues the strong year Universal is having so far at the movies.

Peele’s movie joins “Glass” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” as Universal releases that topped the domestic box office this year. Even more impressive is how the studio manoeuvred around Disney’s “Captain Marvel” to maximise its gross.

The studio announced it would move the “Us” release date back a week after getting the opening night spot at early March’s SXSW Film Festival. That move allowed the studio to ride the good word out of the SXSW screening and give it some cushion from “Captain Marvel,” which originally was to open the weekend after the latest Marvel Studios release. The plan worked perfectly.

Though “Marvel” still played on over 4,200 screens in its third week, Universal was able to squeeze “Us” in 3,700 screens (a thousand more than “Get Out”) and not only made the movie widely available for the Peele/horror fans, but the moviegoers who wanted something different after seeing “Marvel” the last two weekends.

“Captain Marvel” came in second place this weekend, earning $US35 million, and now has a global gross of over $US900 million.

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