The Box Office Is All About “Us.”

The acclaimed Jordan Peele horror flick Us scared the hell out of the North America box office in the best possible way this weekend.

Thanks to the dynamite opening for Us and the continued strong performance from Disney’s Captain Marvel, the 2019 box office had its third straight weekend of improved business over the same weekend one year ago. Business should continue to climb even higher over the next few weeks thanks to anticipated titles such as Dumbo, Shazam! andPet Sematary.

Proving that his Oscar-winning 2017 thriller Get Out was no fluke, filmmaker Jordan Peele’s Us launched on 3,741 screens this weekend where it grossed a great $70.3 million. The debut was the biggest for a live-action original film since the $77 million scored by Avatar nearly a decade ago. It is also the third biggest opening of all time for a horror film following 2017’s IT ($123 million) and last fall’s Halloween reboot ($76 million). Us also opened to more than double the $33 million Peele’s Get Out banked in first three days back in February of 2017.

The daily box office breakdown for Us’ first weekend was $7.4 million from Thursday night previews, $21.6 million on Friday, $25.4 million on Saturday and an estimated $15.7 million from today. Films in the horror genre tend to dip a little bit on their second day of release. The fact that Us saw a near 20% spike in business is an encouraging sign that word-of-mouth among ticket buyers is positive.

On the review front, notices were rock solid for the $20 million production written and directed by Peele and starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Elizabeth Moss. Us scored a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 81/100 from Metacritic. Both scores came very close to matching the raves bestowed upon Get Out (98% RT and 84/100 Metacritic). Us scored a “B” from viewers polled by CinemaScore, which was lower than the “A-“ earned by Get Out.

Internationally, Us opened in 47 markets this weekend to $16.7 million.

Captain Marvel may have stepped aside for the arrival of Peele’s creepy dopplegangers, but it still remains a box office force to be reckoned with. Marvel eased 48% in its third round on 4,278 screens this weekend where it scored an estimated $35 million. The new North American total for Captain Marvel is $321 million, enough to make it the tenth largest domestic release in the MCU franchise.

Marvel passed the final domestic totals of Iron Man ($318 million) and Thor: Ragnarok ($315 million) this weekend and should pass Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man: Homecoming shortly. Marvel still has a good chance of clearing the $400 million milestone by the end of its theatrical run.

Overseas, Nick Fury and Goose the Cat collected an estimated $52 million this weekend, which helped push Captain Marvel‘s foreign box office up to $588.8 million. With $910 million in the global bank after three weekends, Captain Marvel should soon pass the billion-dollar mark.

The Lionsgate feature Five Feet Apart showed some staying power in its second round on 2,866 screens. The romantic teen drama landed in third place, earning an estimated $8.75 million. Down only 34%, Five Feet Apart has brought in $26.4 million and could finish close to the $50 million mark.

In fourth place was Paramount’s animated feature Wonder Park, which eased a moderate 43% in its second weekend on 3,838 screens to make an estimated $9 million. The film has collected $29.4 million so far and could finish with $50 million. Wonder Park has earned $10 million overseas so far.

Rounding out the top five was Universal/Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World with an estimated $6.5 million from 3,347 theaters. Off only 30%, The Hidden World has brought in $145.7 million after five weeks. A final domestic haul of $160 million is possible for the third and final Dragon feature.

  1.  Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral (Lionsgate) $4.5 million (-43%); $66 million
  2.  Gloria Bell (A24) $1.8 million; $2.5 million
  3.  No Manches Frida 2 (PNT/Lionsgate) $1.78 million (-53.5%); $6.6 million
  4.  The LEGO Movie 2 (Warner) $1.12 million (-48%); $103.3 million
  5.  Alita: Battle Angel (Fox) $1 million (-47%); $83.7 million

Finally, the Fandango paid sneak of Warner’s superhero comedy Shazam! scored a terrific $3.3 million from 1,200 screens on Saturday. The preview numbers for Shazam! beat the totals for paid sneaks of How To Train Your Dragon 3, Aquaman and Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle. This bodes well for the film’s April 5thlaunch, which is going up against Paramount’s Pet Sematary remake.

Next weekend, the live-action remake of Disney’s beloved Dumbo swoops into theaters nationwide. Should Us experience the typical drop associated with films in the horror genre, Dumbo could become the nation’s new number one film.


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