The Box Office Good, Bad and Ugly Over Oscar Weekend
By John Hamann
February 26, 2017
Get Out got started on Thursday night with a preview amount of $1.8 million, a similar amount to what Split did on Thursday ($2 million). The number was impressive, and unless it was extremely frontloaded, indicated that the tracking estimate of $18 million for the weekend was going to be far, far under the actual. Compared to Split, Get Out did not have nearly the same amount of marketing support that the Shyamalan film did, as Universal machine gunned that ad everywhere on TV, where Get Out spots were much harder to find - if you weren’t looking. What it did have was a searing buzz based on film quality, starting at Sundance where it received the coveted "Secret Screening" slot. Buzz exploded from there, and continued (due to the RottenTomatoes score) all they way up to release.
Because of this slow building buzz, this horror thriller will not behave like its genre at the box office. Usually with a horror flick, we will see a high gross on Friday night that trails off over the weekend. With Get Out, I don’t believe that will happen, as even with the Oscars on Sunday night, there is a high curiosity factor here, which will drive business all weekend. The combined Thursday/Friday gross more than doubled the $4.5 million production budget for Get Out, coming in at a powerful $10.8 million, eliminating any doubt that the tracking was completely off, or maybe just undercooked for a buzzy film like this. For Jason Blum, I find it amazing to think that he has had two films open within six weeks of each other that grossed a combined $25.4 million on opening day, versus a combined production budget of $13.5 million. That kind of one-day result from two films in a month and a half is unheard of.
Some horror films dip as they come into Saturday, but not the last two Jason Blum films. Split rose 13% from a Thursday assisted Friday, as the Saturday was strong - leading to that $40 million opening. Get Out was the same, It rose 17% from Thursday/Friday to table a $12.7 million Saturday. That led to a $30.5 million opening weekend earning that from only 2,781 screens, whereas Split pulled its haul from 3,038 venues. For a film with a director with no resume and no star power to drive audiences, this result is fantastic for Universal, Jason Blum and Jordan Peele. Jordan Peele can likely write his own ticket after this opening, as the reviews and now the box office result will make him the flavor of the month in Hollywood.
The best news from this result is that moviegoers showed up because they heard this was a good film. This website has always embraced the uptick in ticket sales due to films simply being good, and Get Out is the perfect example. I spoke to a non-movie fan from a very small town today, who reported that she was going to travel the 45 minutes she needed to, because Get Out had earned the 100% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes. This is someone that would never have seen this film, but she picked up on its goodness through social media and impacted the box office because of it.