Weekend Movies: Will “Us” open at $50, dethrone “Captain America?”

us.jpgA $6 million Thursday night in “previews” points towards a $40 million+ opening weekend for Jordan Peele’s highly-anticipated horror tale, “Us.”

As a follow-up to “Get Out,” it’s outperforming that film as of this writing, and “A Quiet Place.” The comparison to those two is useful as both of those fright-fests had word of mouth build and cause their opening weekend take to swell, and kept them in theaters for months.

Will “Us” manage that? Box Office Mojo is speculating that the film, built around Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, will clear $50 million this weekend — an epic haul for a non-franchise horror film to manage on its opening weekend. An epic haul for pretty much anybody without “Pixar” or “Marvel” in their opening credits.

Reviews have been uniformly positive, if not exactly rapturous (It lacks the bite and frights of “Get Out”).

I don’t know if this is going to have the “Dude, you’ve GOTTA see this” word of mouth of “A Quiet Place” or “Get Out.” It doesn’t have the cultural resonance, the satiric edge, of “Get Out” or the sheer nerve-rattling terror of “Quiet Place.” But we’ll see. $40 million or $50 million, you’ve got to figure Lupita N’s quote is going up and Peele will have Blumhouse sized blank checks from whatever studio gets hold of him, long term.

HOWEVER…If “Us” tails off at all, and $40 becomes an iffy proposition, “Captain Marvel” could very well win another weekend. It’s on track to do another $35-38 million, and any under-performance by “Us” could leave it on top.

“Gloria Bell” is the BEST movie to go wide this weekend, after a short time in limited release. It hangs on a tour de force turn by Julianne Moore and is well worth your time, but it won’t crack the top ten on just 640 or so screens.

Nothing else is opening wide, so all the teens flocking to “Five Feet Apart” will keep it in the top five and “No Manches Frida 2” will hang around the top ten in a mere fraction of the theaters that “Us” and the rest are playing in.



About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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