Us, Jordan Peele’s highly-anticipated follow-up to Get Out, surfaced in American movie theaters over the weekend, plunged a pair of extremely sharp golden scissors into the neck of the North American moviegoing public, and was drenched in a torrent of box office dollars: $70 million, spattered all over Universal Studios, Variety reports. That’s the most an original horror film has ever made in a single weekend, more than triple the film’s reported $20 million production budget, and the second highest opening of the year so far, behind Captain Marvel.
No other major studio was brave enough to open a film against Peele’s highly-anticipated second feature, which means Captain Marvel had second place all to itself, adding another $35 million to the $320 million it’s already made in North America. Globally, Captain Marvel has now made $900 million.
The most interesting box office development is that once again, analysts wildly underestimated the film’s box office potential. Going into the weekend, Us was projected to make between $38 million and $45 million, meaning that its $70 million haul is nearly double expectations. It’s yet another example of Hollywood systematically undervaluing work by people of color, but something even more ominous than structural racism may be at work here. Another way to describe the weekend box office results is to say that nearly twice as many more people than anyone was anticipating showed up at movie theaters over the weekend, demanding to see Us. Where did those other people come from?