The figure easily topped Thursday preview numbers for “The Nun” at $5.4 million and “A Quiet Place” at $4.3 million and nearly matched “Halloween” at $7.7 million.
Projections for Universal’s “Us,” Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to 2017’s “Get Out,” have been in the $38 million to $45 million range for the weekend as the film widens to 3,741 sites. Some forecasts call for a launch of as much as $50 million — which would easily surpass the opening weekend haul of “Get Out,” which debuted with $33 million and ended its theatrical run with $176 million in the U.S.
“Us” is also launching in 48 international markets, including France, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
“Us” stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as a couple fighting off doppelgangers while vacationing with their children at a Northern California beach house. The movie has generated exceptional buzz from critics since launching the 2019 South by Southwest film festival on March 8 and carries a 95% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The pic is the first project under Peele’s first-look deal with Universal Pictures, which he signed with his Monkeypaw Productions last year after “Get Out” grossed a massive $255 million worldwide. “Get Out” also scored an Oscar nomination for best picture and Peele won a statue for original screenplay.
Disney’s third weekend of its blockbuster “Captain Marvel” is expected to finish second with at least $30 million. The Brie Larson tentpole has earned $286 million in North America in its first two weeks and $825 million worldwide.
“Captain Marvel” has closed the gap between the 2019 North American box office and last year’s box office. Total moviegoing revenues had trailed by 27% in early March, but that number had declined to 19.7% as of March 20, at $2.04 billion, according to Comscore. The gap should narrow further this weekend, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore.
“One of the most anticipated movies of the year, Jordan Peele’s ‘Us,’ amidst solid buzz coming off of SXSW, is now set to inspire a massive social-media driven conversation as the film looks to slice its way to a solid opening weekend and guaranteed long-term success,” he said. “‘Us’ is a movie tailor-made for the communal moviegoing experience and that will pay big dividends for the film with moviegoers enthusiastically spreading the word about the scary-good time they had at the multiplex.”