‘Us’ box office: Scary good opening weekend makes history for horror movies

“Us” opened on March 22 to high expectations. It’s writer-director Jordan Peele‘s followup to his sleeper hit directorial debut “Get Out” (2017), which was a rare film to be equally popular with critics, audiences, and awards voters — and that’s a vanishingly rare feat for a horror movie. “Us” already met those expectations with critics, and now it has greatly exceeded those expectations with audiences. Its opening weekend broke box office records.

In its first three days in theaters the film grossed $70.2 million against a $20 million production budget. That’s more than twice as much money as “Get Out” took in during its opening weekend ($33 million), and that film ended up with $176 million domestically and $255 million worldwide against a mere $4.5 million budget. When you count international markets, “Us” has already grossed more than $86 million.

“Us” now has the third biggest opening weekend for an R-rated horror movie, and the biggest opening for an original horror film. The two that grossed more when they opened domestically were an adaptation (2017’s “It” with $123 million) and a sequel (2018’s “Halloween” with $76 million). This is also the biggest opening ever for an original R-rated film and the biggest opening for any original live-action film since “Avatar” 10 years ago.

So how much money will “Us” make when all is said and done? The film received a B grade from Cinemascore, which measures opening night audience reactions. That’s markedly less than “Get Out,” which got an A- from Cinemascore. So perhaps “Us” won’t have the word-of-mouth longevity of Peele’s previous effort, but with such a strong start there’s a good chance it will ultimately out-gross “Get Out” anyway.

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