“Get Out” is getting some of the best reviews of this or any year. The thriller about a young African-American man’s visit to his white girlfriend’s estate has scored raves for mixing scares and social commentary, enjoying a rare 100% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes. Not to be outdone in the plaudits, Variety‘s Peter Debruge hailed the bloody riff on “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” as both “a must-see event” and “a no-holds-barred critique of black-white relations.”
The raves are ensuring that “Get Out” will get a warm reception at the multiplexes when it opens in 2,773 North American theaters on Friday, where it’s expected to pull in $18 million and challenge “The Lego Batman Movie” for box office supremacy. Universal is distributing the movie, which marks a departure of sorts for Jordan Peele, a writer and director best known for his Comedy Central series “Key & Peele.” It was produced by Blumhouse, the purveyor of low-budget horror hits like “Split” and “Paranormal Activity,” and cost a modest $4.5 million to produce.
The studio has done a good job in keeping the film’s twisty plot a secret, argues Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.
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“It’s one of those movies that’s going to generate a lot of conversation,” he said. “A lot of people are not sure exactly what it’s about and that makes it more intriguing.”
“The Lego Batman Movie” could retain the top spot on charts, racking up $20 million. The animated hit has held first place for two consecutive weekends.
Aside from glaring enviously at “Get Out” and its profit margins, most of Hollywood’s attention this weekend will be affixed on the Oscars, where “La La Land” is expected to dance its way to victory. Away from the glamorous red carpets and swanky parties, a few other new releases will quietly slink into theaters. They include Open Road’s “Collide,” an action thriller with Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones, that is barreling toward a $3 million to $5 million opening when it hits 2,045 locations, a muted result for the $21 million film. IM Global partnered with China’s DMG on financing the film and limited its financial exposure through foreign pre-sales. The picture was originally set up at Relativity Media, but left the company during its financial collapse.
Lionsgate will also use the weekend to launch “Rock Dog,” an animated story about a Tibetan Mastiff who dreams of making it in the music world. It’s a Chinese-American co-production with backing from Huayi Brothers, and carries a $60 million price tag. The studio is just distributing the film. It should open to $5 million.
February has been a forgettable month for the movie business. Ticket sales are down 3.7% from the previous year, but next month looks more promising with “Logan,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Kong: Skull Island” all hitting theaters in rapid succession.