Weekend Box Office Feb. 24-26: A Hefty $30.5M Opening for ‘Get Out’ (Timing Is Everything)

GET OUT | Blumhouse Productions

GET OUT | Blumhouse Productions

Sometimes it just comes down to timing. Take for example, this weekend’s No.1 film – Universal/Blumhouse’s comedy/horror “Get/Out”. One of very few black horror films (written and directed by Jordan Peele, the shorter half of the former comedy duo “Key & Peele”), “Get Out” tackles racism in a satirical way while also staying true to horror film genre conventions. Although it’s not the first film to do so.

Audiences seem to overlook Rusty Cundieff’s “Tales from the Hood” which also combined straight horror and wild satirical takes on racism, back in 1995 (and is finally coming out in on blu-ray in April, via Shout Factory).

But what if “Get Out” was released two years ago? Would audiences have been talking about it then, with the same enthusiasm they are discussing it today? Don’t forget that, just over a year ago, Peele’s initial foray into movies with former partner Keegan-Michael Key, titled “Keanu” (which set out to subvert black stereotypes and black films), was a bust at the box office. So what happened this time around?

Simple, it’s the right film at the right time. With the current USA administration laying waste to the honor of the White House and the country, with all the talk and fear of the so-called “alt-right”, as well as the rise in racial ate crimes, “Get Out” couldn’t be more timely. It’s as if the film went into production the day after Trump was elected in November. And no doubt when the film was in production, Peele and the rest of the cast and crew had no idea that it would be the most talked about film of the moment, one that captures the zeitgeist. They were likely hoping that it wouldn’t get lost among the other films being released at the same time.

And with $30.5 million its opening weekend, which is more than 6 times the film’s very small $4.5 million budget, the film is yet another box office smash for Blumhouse Productions. In fact, it’s the eighth film made by the independent production company that has opened at No.1, with a total of more than 6 times its budget. What’s their secret?

Since 2009, Blumhouse has raked in huge bundles of money by spending very little exclusively on horror and genre films such as “Split” (still going strong, with over $200 million worldwide on a $9 million budget), “The Visit”, “The Purge” movies (which have grossed over $321 million worldwide), the “Paranormal Activity” franchise, and other scary films including “Ouija” and “Sinister” and their sequels. The company’s films altogether have grossed over $2.6 billion worldwide so far, with “Get Out” now adding to that growing total. Although the company has had its share of flops, Blumhouse can count far more box office hits than losers, proving that if you find a formula that works, and stick to it, you almost can’t lose.

But looking ahead, “Get Out” faces some stiff competition next weekend, with the third and supposedly last Wolverine film “Logan”, which is already drawing rave reviews; and the following weekend comes “Kong: Skull Island”. But “Get Out’s” strong word-of-mouth should keep ticket sales brisk for several weeks, with predictions of an $80-90 million domestic gross possible.

As for the rest of this weekend’s box office list, it’s pretty much the same as it was last weekend, with “The LEGO Batman Movie” coming in second earning $19 million, and “John Wick Chapter 2” coming in third place with $9 million, over $74 million domestic to date, and $125 million worldwide.

Meanwhile “Hidden Figures” has surpassed $150 million so far, and looks to be headed for at least $175-180 million domestically, and a worldwide gross of somewhere in the region of $225 to $230 million. As for the foreign box office figures for “Moonlight”, the film grossed another $400,000 in France over the last week, and we’re still waiting for weekend reports from the other countries where it’s opened. But a rough estimate is that the film has now grossed about $8 million overseas so far.

This weekend’s top 10 grosses follow below:

1). Get Out (UNI), $30.5M
2). The LEGO Batman Movie (WB), $19M Total: $133M
3. John Wick: Chapter 2 (LGF), $9M Total:$74.4M
4. The Great Wall (UNI/LEG), : $8.7M Total: $34.4M
5. Fifty Shades Darker (UNI),: $7.7M Total: $103.6M
6.) Fist Fight (WB/NL), $6.38M Total: $23.2M
7) Hidden Figures (FOX), $5.87M Total: $152.8M
8). La La Land (LGF), 1$4.6M Total: $140.86M
9.) Split (UNI/BLUM),: $4.1M Total: $130.8M
10.) Lion (TWC) $3.8M Total: $42.8M

16 Comments

  1. I think that Peele did a good job in choosing another black actor for the lead role. Since this film was a racial satire, it was more effective if a full black actor was the lead. Had Peele put himself or Key, I doubt this movie would be making these numbers opening weekend. Mostly due to the fact that both these guys are biracial and they wouldn’t have been perceived as having the same type of racial problems like a full black man.

    As for Tales from the Hood, I always thought that was very well done and unfortunately didn’t get the attention back then like it deserved. It could have been the title of the film. I know I was put off by the title and didn’t want to watch the movie until 20 years later. It’s a cult favorite on cable and I was amazed it was still on-demand after 20 plus years! That’s how I was able to watch it. There should have been a part two. Hopefully after the success of Get Out, there maybe some renewed interest in having a part two. Get on it Spike!

    John Wick was another cult favorite that put Keanu Reaves back on the map! There will definitely be a part 3! Moonlight has made $22 million and counting. Fences has made $56 million and change. Hopefully these two films will pick up an Oscar and their box office worldwide will increase.

  2. Interesting you mention that because personally I never “got” Key and Peele while everybody else thought they were the Second Coming. I found them mainly unfunny and I’ve always suspected that they were trying too hard to make “black humor” but missing by a mile. Like they were trying to overcompensate for the fact that they were bi-racial. Like their Keanu. OK two doofus black nerds try to pretend that they’re hard core ghetto street hoods to get their cat back. A weak premise barely enough for a ten minute skit but for a 100 minute movie?

  3. Heavens to Murgatroyd!, Exit, stage left, as SnagglePuss would say upon hearing something as ridiculous as Quick Draw Mcgraw ( Sergio) and his sidekick Baba Looey (D TroubleMaker) just wrote

    Only those two characters would find some way of throwing racial shade on Key and Peele on a day they should be receiving praise for a wonderful weekend box office and their film that’s receiving excellent reviews, not to mention Rotten Tomato’s seldom given 100% rating.

    WTH is this—> ” a full black actor” “they were trying too hard to make “black humor” but missing by a mile. Like they were trying to overcompensate for the fact that they were bi-racial.” <——WTH is that?! They tried to compensate because they were bi-racial?

    OMG, if SnagglePuss was black alley cat named Pootie Thang instead of a pink anthropomorphic mountain lion, he'd tell you characters "Nay-no, don't wa-da-tah to the shama cow Get out… 'cause thats a cama cama leepa-chaiii, dig? or GTFOOH cuz you'lls a baddy daddy lamata"

    • CareyCarey
      You should be the last one to throw stones! Remember this:
      “Really, I didn’t know Hollywood was in the habit of making films with three very strong positive roles for black women? Anyway, as I said, in spite of the alleged positive roles of 3 black women, I hated it for the following reasons.”

      You said that when Hidden Figures went to number on Jan. 16, 2017! Now you’re trying to call me out? You stated your opinion on Hidden Figures, I stated my opinion on Get Out!

  4. First of all, I agree with both of the above comments to a certain extent. I believe it was a stroke of genius to have another actor rather than Key or Peel for all the obvious and not-too-obvious reasons. I also think they learned from the mistakes in the cat flick. I really don’t think Trump/alt-right is driving the audience all that much. Their advertising has been pretty good. I think he began writing the script a couple of years before Trump was elected. Even if, relatively speaking, the budget was on the low side if you will, Blumhouse does have an excellent track record in the horror genre. Secondly, the cat flick got out there because they (Key and Peele) were/are hot properties with a slice of the folk that go out and see movies. And they do have an air of risk taking about them even if one does not appreciate their brand of humor: It appeals to somebody, a lot of somebodies as a matter of fact. It was what I consider a quickie done on the spur of the moment: Hey, let’s throw this out their and see if it’ll stick/play. And they got someone to put up the cash. Which goes to prove that although the movie market is a niche market, moviegoers have discriminating tastes and will not rush to a theater simply because of a name or two. Hell, even the niche has niches. Ultimately, an unknown scriptwriter or film maker hunkered down somewhere working on the work that’s going to put her/him on the map, has to put her/his best thing out there and hope the right production company picks it up. Finally, the timing must be exquisitely perfect.

  5. Hey, CareyCarey, you’re funny, man. In Sergio’s defense however, the point not to be lost is timing. No one knows why a movie/film does the business it does, before it hits he screens and the audience/box office gives it the thumbs up or the thumbs down. Plus I meant to write “there” instead of “their” somewhere up above. Lol

    • Oduduwa, I agree, a film’s release date definitely plays a huge role in it’s box office.

      Since I’m watching the Oscars I “quick hit” this post, leaving out other points of note. So yeah, I’ll give Sergio a pat on the back on that point. Additionally, if the Oscars continue to be boring as hell, I might come back to speak on the other top 12 box office films, all of which I’ve seen.

      That said, I see Sergio is still being the pitch man for Moonlight even though it has never landed in the top weekend box office.

  6. Don’t forget the lead is unknown as well, unless you saw Skins (UK), Dr. Who, Black Mirror and the other shows he has done for the BBC in England. So give Jordan credit for that. I only heard of 4 of the cast in this film and I thought the brother of the girlfriend was the kid from Home Alone.

    I will say this the audience I saw it with enjoyed it so much-they CLAPPED at the end. As for Moonlight-you are dealing with a subject that is still an issue with blacks and a film depending on where you lived-did not show everywhere. I think it showed at two places here and at ODD times and at places where tickets start at $20.

  7. Well, well, well…”Moonlight” won best picture! I’m glad for Jenkins and crew. I don’t know of anyone who has seen “Moonlight” or plan to see it.

  8. CareyCarey, I think both of us were probably responding at the same time and you finished your initial remarks before I finished mine. Relative to “Moonlight”, I don’t think it will ever land in the “top weekend box,” it’s not that type of film. You know like Denzel and Hanks in “Philadelphia”. I’m certain it did some business with LBGTQ African Americans, and those who identify with their situation. But the film has other more relevant aspects for an audience that appreciates the excellent production values inherent in the film. And one does not have to be Gay in order to appreciate those values. Obviously, it is not a mass market film and was targeted for a limited audience. Art House size I’d say. Nevertheless, it is a beautifully-wrought piece of work. Also obvious is the fact that the audience for “Get Out” is probably larger.
    P.S.: Barbara, you might enjoy Jenkins’s “Medicine For Melancholy,” it’s on YouTube — check it out when you have a chance and let me know what you think about it.

    • Medicine For Melancholy is a great film. I heard about it thru commentary on this blog. I saw it on Netflix. Enjoy.

    • Thank you so much for telling me about Medicine For Melancholy. I just finished watching it. The black and white cinematography was STUNNING! I had to remind myself to concentrate on the film and not get distracted by its beauty.
      The Merry Go Round Scene was hypnotic. I really enjoyed that. I was hoping the couple would get together in the end. But I saw her riding away while he slept.
      I could relate to the relationship between a man and woman (as opposed to the Moonlight subject.).
      It is rather unnerving to see that some Black people have lost their connection with each other. I was thinking “Where Did Our Love Go?” That seems to be what Micha (sp) is trying to get her to understand. I hope he finds love. But he will probably have to relocate to a larger Black population city to do so.
      The couple were also very beautiful, physically.
      I look forward to more from Barry Jenkins. His work is excellent. I wish I had a desire to see Moonlight too. Just looking at the cinematography of Moonlight clips tells me Jenkins will be someone to recon with in the future.
      Again, thanks for bringing this to my attention and letting me know where I could find it.

  9. You’re more than welcome, Barbara, and believe me I understand your hesitancy concerning “Moonlight”. Obviously “Medicine For Melancholy” is closer to where you are — it was so beautiful it ached. And you’re correct about Jo and Micah absolutely gorgeous to look at — both of them! I think Jenkins had a $15,000 budget, $5,000 more than Charles Burnett’s “Killer Of Sheep”. And if you look at it again, you’ll see it was a color film — the color was washed out. Yes, he’s on the road to bigger and better films no doubt.

  10. P.S.: Barbara, if you saw the Oscars last night, check out this column from the New Yorker Magazine written by Hilton Als, “The Black/White Oscars Moment That Really Hit Me Last Night”. Yes the title is that long. I think you’ll enjoy it.

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