Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
March 23, 2019
Woop woop woop! Blumhouse does it again, or more accurately, Jordan Peele does. The auteur has created yet another movie destined to be a horror classic, and its box office is going to match.
Actually, it's a pretty big year for Peele, whom I've loved since I started watching his sketch comedy show Key & Peele (2012-2015). Seriously, just search YouTube and watch a bunch of the bits. You'll see the nascent brilliance of the duo almost right away, some of which even hints at his future in horror. Along with this film, which I'll discuss more in a moment, Peele also has the upcoming Twilight Zone reboot about to appear on CBS All-Access (I'll subscribe for that) and a reunion with Keegan-Michael Key in Toy Story 4 as they portray Ducky and Bunny. I presume they'll be the highlight of the film.
So, he's just setting things off with a triumphant boom, as Us, Peele's follow-up to the Academy Award-winning Get Out got its weekend started with a magnificent $29.1 million Friday. That number does include a stellar $7.4 million from Thursday night previews. With tons of confidence after his horror debut and a trailer that is incredibly creepy and disturbing, Us checks all the boxes for fans of the genre and also has a built-in fanbase thanks to Peele's growing devotees.
Like Get Out, Us has received rave reviews from critics. It's 95 percent fresh compared to Get Out's 98 percent. The one sign of possible slippage is the Cinemascore, as Get Out received an A- while Us got a B. That's probably down to expectations, I'd imagine, though I also suspect that there could be some letdown factor involved as well.
Anyway, with regard to weekend box office, Us will become the top-grossing horror film based on an original idea ever. Maybe Peele and John Krasinski can just swap out spots on alternate years. A $65 million debut is freaking fantastic and I couldn't be happier for Peele, even if I think I might be too much of a scaredy cat to see this one in theaters. I can't decide.
With Us the only real new wide release of the weekend, our other big items of discussion are Captain Marvel, last weekend's releases, and an expansion. Captain Marvel earned $9.2 million yesterday, down 52 percent from last weekend. It'll straighten out a lot over the rest of the weekend to earn $41 million, making this a darned good March weekend in the midst of March Madness.
Five Feet Apart is going to be the better remembered film between it and Wonder Park, as the teen weeper passed the kid flick yesterday. With $2.7 million on Friday, a 49 percent drop, it should have a decent second frame in the area of $8.5 million, especially considering its teensy $7 million budget. As for Wonder Park, that film has a significantly larger budget at around $100 million, but with just $2.2 million yesterday (down 59 percent), it's going to have a second weekend total of just $9.5 million. It'll still beat Five Feet Apart for the weekend, but it's a small victory.
Finally, Gloria Bell, a little movie featuring a lauded performance from Julianne Moore, earned $525,000 as it expanded from 39 to 654 venues. Call it $1.5 million for the weekend and some nice additional attention as it'll grab a spot in the top ten.