Weekend Box Office: ‘Get Out’ Scares Up Big Opening

Get Out Review

While Hollywood prepared to celebrate the best in film from 2016, moviegoers at multiplexes across North America were busy championing something new: the micro-budgeted thriller Get Out. The acclaimed Universal feature scared away the competition to become the top film in the country. Fellow new arrivals Rock Dog and Collide also did some scaring of their own. They each scared off ticket buyers in droves.

Overall, the top ten dipped 23% from last weekend’s holiday numbers. It did, however, climb approximately nine percent over the top ten from one year ago this week.

Budgeted at $4.5 million, the Jordan Peele-directed Get Out earned a great $30.5 million from 2,781 theaters. While the opening numbers certainly were impressive, the film’s reception from the nation’s critics was even more attention grabbing. The micro-budgeted horror satire earned a rare 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a feat that wasn’t achieved by a single feature up for Best Picture at tonight’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Get Out’s huge start is the second successful collaboration this year between Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, the first being January’s Split. Like that long running hit, the road ahead for Get Out should be quite strong and profitable. Critical huzzahs aside, the reception from ticket buyers have been equally strong. Not only did the feature earn an “A-“ Cinemascore rating from opening night crowds, it also saw its business increase by 17% on Saturday, a day that usually sees horror films lose business.

Warner’s The LEGO Batman Movie continued to be a popular choice with family crowds this weekend, earning an estimated $19 million from 4,057 screens. Off only 42%, Bats has bagged $133 million after three weeks of release. With the family market to itself for two more weekends, The LEGO Batman Movie should power its way to roughly $175 million domestically. Foreign markets have contributed $93 million so far.

John Wick: Chapter Two held strong in third place with an estimated $9 million from 2,954 theaters. Off 45%, John Wick: Chapter Two has bagged $74.4 million so far. Depending on how much of the action crowd Logan siphons from Mr. Wick, John Wick: Chapter Two could work its way close to the $100 million mark stateside. Wick’s global take has passed $100 million thanks to the $51 million earned from overseas.

In addition to Get Out, Universal had two other films in the top five this weekend. In fourth place was The Great Wall with $8.7 million from 3,328 screens. Crumbling 53% from its underwhelming start last weekend, The Great Wall has bagged $34.4 million domestically after ten days and is looking at a possible final domestic haul close to $50 million.

In fifth place was the sex sequel Fifty Shades Darker with $7.7 million from 3,216 venues. With Valentine’s Day well out of the way, the mommy porn epic whipped 62% less subjects in its third go around, but not before crossing the $100 million milestone. Fifty Shades Darker has scored $103 million in North America so far and an additional $225 million from overseas. A final domestic total just past $115 million is a possibility.

  1.  Fist Fight (Warner) $6.4 million (-48%); $23.2 million
  1.  Hidden Figures (Fox) $5.8 million (-19%) $153 million
  1.  La La Land (Lionsgate) $4.6 million (+0.2%); $141 million
  1.  Split (Universal) $4.1 million (-43%); $131 million
  1.  Lion (Weinstein) $3.8 million (-9.4%); $43 million

And what of Rock Dog and Collide, this week’s other new releases? Well, to put it mildly, they both bombed. Spectacularly. Lionsgate’s Rock Dog, an animated feature largely financed by a Chinese company, was out of tune in eleventh place with $3.7 million from 2,077 theaters. Open Road’s European action flick Collide slammed into a wall right out of the gate, earning a horrid $1.5 million in its first three days.

March should come in roaring like a lion –or a Wolverine- starting on Thursday night when Logan begins its box office run. Current estimates show the R-rated action drama opening just north of $60 million. Between that and what should be a strong second weekend for Get Out, the box office should finally start to come out of its winter hibernation.

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