“Us,” a horror movie featuring Lupita Nyong’o pulled off a stunning debut, generating $70 million (Sh7 billion) from 3,741 North American locations.
That haul is enough to land it the second-best opening weekend of the year behind just Disney’s “Captain Marvel” (Sh15 billion).
“Us” now has the largest weekend for original horror movie, surpassing “A Quiet Place,” as well as the biggest launch for an original R-rated film behind “Ted.” It also shattered the benchmark set by Peele’s directorial debut “Get Out,” which launched with (Sh3.3 billion) in 2017.
Overseas, “Us” launched with Sh1.6 billion from 47 international territories for a global start of Sh8.6 billion.
“Put simply, Jordan Peele is a genius,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. “He’s managed to tap into something that the domestic box office can’t get enough of. People can’t wait to see what he does next.”
Universal and Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions produced “Us” for Sh2 billion. Since its debut at the South by Southwest Film Festival, “Us” has built up word of mouth.
It has a 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, rare praise for the horror genre and a testament to Peele’s ability to deliver scares that also encourage audiences to think.
It stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as a couple forced to fend off blood-thirsty clones while vacationing with their kids.
Though the domestic box office has been struggling to match 2018’s record pace, it’s been a good year for Universal so far. The studio now boasts the second, third, and fourth-best opening weekends of 2019 with “Us,” “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” (Sh5.5 billion), and “Glass” (Sh4 billion), respectively.