us box office

After winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for 2017’s Get Out, writer/director Jordan Peele is back with Us, a new tale of terror that’s a totally different type of movie. And it seems like audiences are curious about what Peele is bringing to the table, because the film has only been out for less than a day and it’s already broken a box office record.

Us Box Office Record

In its Thursday night screenings, Us grossed $7.4 million in North America, putting it behind films like It, Paranormal Activity 3, and last year’s Halloween. But according to Forbes, that’s good enough for “the biggest Thursday preview gross for an R-rated movie that isn’t a sequel or isn’t based on anything.” Not bad for only his second directorial effort. Peele has come out of the gate as an auteur filmmaker with a distinct voice, and I’m thrilled that he turned down the chance to direct huge tentpole movies and focused his efforts on this complex horror film instead.

BoxOfficeMojo says Us‘s $7.4 million performance is more than four times as big as Get Out‘s $1.8 million in previews, and it seems destined to open well enough that it should easily find itself as the latest entrant on the list of top 10 biggest opening weekends for R-rated horror films. Currently, that list looks like this:

  • It – $123,403,419
  • Halloween (2018) – $76,221,545
  • The Nun – $53,807,379
  • Paranormal Activity 3 – $52,568,183
  • The Conjuring – $41,855,326
  • Paranormal Activity 2 – $40,678,424
  • Friday the 13th (2009) – $40,570,365
  • The Conjuring 2 – $40,406,314
  • Annabelle – $37,134,255
  • Freddy vs. Jason – $36,428,066

The Hollywood Reporter says Us is on track for a $64 million opening weekend, catapulting it to number three slot on that list and bumping Freddy vs. Jason out of the top ten. (Side note: how the hell is that movie still in the top 10?! I know fans were curious when that film came out, but I didn’t realize they were that curious.)

Us stars Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, and Evan Alex. Jacob Hall and I co-wrote a deep dive article exploring the film’s themes and messages, today’s /Film Daily episode adds even more to the discussion, we have a video reaction up on the site, a review from the South By Southwest Film Festival, and an interview with writer/director Jordan Peele.

Set in present day along the iconic Northern California coastline, Us stars Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Black Panther’s Winston Duke), and their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) for an idyllic summer getaway.

Haunted by an unexplainable and unresolved trauma from her past and compounded by a string of eerie coincidences, Adelaide feels her paranoia elevate to high-alert as she grows increasingly certain that something bad is going to befall her family.

After spending a tense beach day with their friends, the Tylers (Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon), Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home. When darkness falls, the Wilsons discover the silhouette of four figures holding hands as they stand in the driveway. Us pits an endearing American family against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.

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