Box Office: Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ Scores Monster $30.5 Million Opening

Get Out Movie
Courtesy of Universal

Get Out,” a trenchant horror film about race relations, rode critical raves to a smashing box office debut. The low-budget film was the weekend’s top-grossing domestic release, earning $30.5 million, and propelling its director and writer Jordan Peele atop Hollywood’s A-list. The film, which centers on a black man who discovers that his girlfriend’s liberal, lily-white hometown is guarding a sinister secret, marks a departure for Peele, best-known for his work on the Comedy Central series “Key & Peele.” It proves he can handle scares, as well as laughs, supplying sly social commentary in both genres.

“Get Out” also extends Blumhouse Productions’ hot hand. The film company scored earlier this year with “Split,” a thriller about a man with a personality disorder that racked up $130.8 million stateside on a $9 million budget. Universal distributed, marketed, and partnered on both movies.

“It’s entertaining, it’s thought-provoking, and it’s subversive,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief.  “I have seen [‘Get Out’] play with audiences. They enjoy themselves and they’re telling their friends.”


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It wasn’t just word-of-mouth that accounted for the robust opening. “Get Out” benefited from being embraced by reviewers, earning a rare 100% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the likes of the Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern hailing its “explosive brilliance” and the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis praising it as “exhilaratingly smart.” The last horror film to receive that type of unanimous praise was Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion” in 1965.

“Get Out’s” success comes as most of the movie business’ gaze is affixed on the Dolby Theater, where the Academy Awards will unfold on Sunday, with “La La Land” expected to be the night’s big winner.

Box office sages argue that Blumhouse is becoming synonymous with the horror genre in a way that is resonating with consumers. Its lineup of hits includes “Sinister,” “Insidious,” and “Paranormal Activity.” They also praise the company’s fiscal conservatism (most of its movies carry budgets that are less than $10 million), and its emphasis on storytelling.

“The best special effect is a great script,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore. “It proves a great movie and a well executed story doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.”

With “Get Out” galvanizing multiplexes, two other new releases, “Collide” and “Rock Dog,” collapsed. “Collide,” an action-thriller with Nicholas Hoult as a thief on the run from the mob, bombed, taking in a mere $1.5 million. Open Road distributed the movie for a fee. “Collide” was originally backed by Relativity Media, only to be rescued by financier IM Global when the studio fell into bankruptcy. It cost $21 million to produce.

“Rock Dog,” an animated film about a Tibetan mastiff with dreams of being a pop star, didn’t fare much better, only managing to make $3.7 million. Lionsgate distributed the $60 million film, which was fully financed by Mandoo Pictures and the Huayi Brothers, and was intended to appeal to audiences in both the U.S. and China. Clearly, that plan didn’t work out so well in the States.

As the newcomers stumbled, “The Lego Batman Movie” continued to show strength, racking up $19 million in its third week for a second place finish. That pushes the animated hit’s domestic gross to $133 million.

Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter Two” came in third with $9 million, giving the action-thriller a domestic gross of $74.4 million. Universal rounded out the top five with “The Great Wall” and “Fifty Shades Darker,” which earned $8.7 million and $7.7 million, respectively. “The Great Wall,” a fantasy adventure, has made $34.4 million in the States, while “Fifty Shades Darker” has racked up $103.6 million.

Overall ticket sales were up more than 5% from the same period last year when “Deadpool” topped charts for the third weekend in a row. Year-to-date, revenues are down 2.7%, but next weekend brings “Logan,” a violent comic-book adaptation that is expected to do big business.

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  1. Leon says:

    The movie is genius. He is fantastic. The movie was awesome. Good Job! Bring more R rated awesomeness! Cant wait for your next movie.

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  4. Lex says:

    Movies suck now. They are about 1.5 dimensional. You have to agree on everything from politics to social issues. They aren’t extremely entertaining. The ones that seem to be better are the comic book ones and they will fade out. Look at 20 years ago: Titanic. Twister. Jurassic Park had come out. Now you’ve got the retread of that. Retread of Star Wars with actors who have about 1/10th of the charisma as the originals had. Also, you more diversity. Different kinds of films. I don’t care much money this movie made. It looks terrible. “Whities getting me down.” is just a tired message. I can only imagine people go to see it for some misguided political group think.

    • Jacen says:

      Here we go again: another whiner repeating the tired refrain of “X sucks now,” as if people weren’t saying the same of films 20, 40, or 60 years ago. Twister? Seriously? Do you realize how maligned that film was when it came out? Also, you are aware that sequels and remakes are nothing new, yes? Google the concepts. Also, learn something about various filmmaking techniques and theories (you know, mise en scene, auteur, things like that) and become a bit more enlightened about cinema. Otherwise, you’re just a Roman at the Colosseum complaining that he’s not being entertained.

    • thomasammy363 says:

      Stay at home mom Kelly Richards from New York after resigning from her full time job managed to average from $6000-$8000 a month from freelancing at home… This is how she done

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  5. Chico Unchained says:

    Skeptics, a movie that opens to $30 million on a $5 million is a monster opening. Haters, if you can do better, let’s see you make a movie that critics and audiences love for minimal costs that becomes #1 at the box office.

    • Rex says:

      Jeez, buddy. It’s a good movie. It made money. Period. For every profitable film BlumHouse cranks out under the low-budget, story-first mantra that is suddenly getting heaps of undue praise, six or seven of its films go STRAIGHT TO DVD/STREAMING. There are two reasons this scored big: it’s timely, especially in America where race relations are being made to seem apocalyptic despite while most people on EITHER SIDE don’t give a shit and just go about their lives, and Jordan Peel, the HALF-BLACK, HALF-WHITE creator of this picture, who EVERY Gen X-er and Millennial knows from Key and Peele, and whose brand of comedy and well-known interest in horror movies safely treads the middle ground in order to appeal to both sides. Ergo, hit movie.

  6. I’m not sure I’d call that a “monster” opening.
    Terrific or excellent, yes.
    Monster just…..doesn’t fit with a ~$30 million debut.

  7. Andrew says:

    “Propelling Jordan Peele to the Hollywood A-list”?

    Uh, let’s pump the brakes a bit.

  8. Rudy Mario says:

    ROI folks……ROI

    Split and now this……such low budgets and investment is gotten back in a day!

  9. EdwardD says:

    In what universe is 30 million a ‘monster’ opening? The film was good and it will propel director Jordan Peele and lead actor Daniel Kaluuya. But Allison Williams? What a bland performance. The casting director stumbled on that one.

    • Charlie says:

      $30 million is a big opening for a $5 million film with no major stars in it

    • spd says:

      Correct. It was a nice opening. Better than expected. Hardly a monster opening as they are trying to portray it. If it fades away after this week like so many other horror films do, it’ll be just another run of the mill movie instead of the cause celeb it seems to have become among the critics and media, which of course won’t even remember it by December when they put their best of the year lists together, yet completely forget about this. Has happened in the past with films like “It Follows”.

      • Jacen says:

        Actually, It Follows did make a few Best Of lists.

      • Richard says:

        This one doesn’t feel like a front loaded horror movie an unheard of 100 % on RT, tremendous buzz and word of mouth. I haven’t seen it yet nor many friends and coworkers have yet to see it so it’s seems it might have the more typical Blumhouse legs. As for awards no this is not Oscar bait but obviously the reviews say it’s and excellent movie. Hollywood likes big epic movies or insider patting itself valentines like La La Land …way overrated BTW IMHO. This looks to be an instant classic .

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