Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out is paying off in a major way. Peele, best known as half of the comedy duo Key & Peele, crafted a film that delivers effective scares and laughs in equal measure and also deals with complicated racial themes. The result is a massive success with critics; Get Out arrived in theaters while holding the elusive 100 percent “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes.
A film like Get Out may garner strong reviews, but a horror satire about race relations is not exactly the kind of production that would scream blockbuster. Made on a relatively tiny $4.5 million budget, the film still had a chance to turn a nice profit if it could catch on in theaters, but after just one weekend in theaters it can already be considered a smash hit.
As reported by Variety, Get Out dominated the box office with an estimated $30.5 million in its opening weekend while playing in 2,781 cinemas, shattering its production budget in the process. It’s another huge win for Blumhouse Productions, which also scored big with M. Night Shyamalan’s Split. Get Out’s successful opening weekend surpassed Variety’s early estimates of about $28 million.
Elsewhere at the weekend box office, The LEGO Batman Movie continued to rack up solid numbers with about $19 million in its fourth weekend in theaters and is up to $133 million in the U.S.. Variety reported that new releases Collide and Rock Dog both “collapsed” at the box office in comparison to Get Out. The report credited Get Out’s universal critical praise as a catalyst for its early box office success.
With Split, and now Get Out, Blumhouse is proving that you can still rack up ticket sales by crafting smart, complex horror films that transcend cheap scares or gratuitous violence and deliver thoughtful messages. Get Out is not typical of what you’d expect to see at the top of box office lists, but Peele’s subversive, genre-blending thriller is potentially a game-changer in that regard. You can reasonably expect other studios to follow Blumhouse’s lead and start investing in forward-thinking filmmakers and storytellers – and they’ll have the potential for similar box office success as a result.
It remains unclear how much Get Out’s significant pre-release buzz contributed to its opening-weekend win at the box office, but it’s unlikely it would have been as big a smash with that 100% rating. That said, it did still have a very striking trailer and an A- Cinemascore rating, so had potential to be a sizeable hit even if reviewers weren’t as hot on it.