Us is coming for us! Less than 48 hours after its nationwide release, Jordan Peele's second horror film, following 2017's Oscar-nominated Get Out, is already on track to have a stellar, record-breaking opening weekend at the box office. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the picture earned $7.4 million on Thursday night — a massive first-night take — and $29 million on Friday, and is on track to gross a total of $67 million over the weekend.
Against a reported $20 million budget, that's a good ratio for any movie, and it's especially strong for the horror genre, where R ratings tend to limit ticket sales and keep films from reaching their blockbuster potential. Recent horror hits like It and Halloween, two of the only other R-rated horror films with bigger openings than what's projected for Us, had built-in fan bases; It is based on a Stephen King novel and Halloween is part of the long-running franchise of the same name. So it's all the more impressive that Us, an original story, is doing so well, based solely on the cast, marketing, reviews, and, perhaps most importantly, Peele's reputation. If these numbers hold, it'll be the best-ever box office opening for a completely original horror film.
Starring Lupita Nyong'o and Black Panther breakout Winston Duke, Us is the story of the Adelaide family, who face killer versions of themselves while on vacation. All this buzz is reported to land it the top box office spot for the weekend, knocking Captain Marvel out of the slot it's held for the last month. Yet another very impressive aspect of Us's box office returns is that it's drawing an ethnically diverse audience: Black and white moviegoers have turned out in almost equal shares, according to THR, continuing to prove the universal appeal not only of horror films and of projects led predominantly by black actors, but also of Peele's highly allegorical storytelling about race and culture.
In addition to being a business success, Us is also fast becoming a critical and cultural hot topic. The film holds a 95 percent "Fresh" critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a healthy 69 percent audience rating. The internet has already been flooded with articles explaining the film's apparently either confusing or highly metaphorical ending, plus countless deep dives into Peele's purposefully heavy use of symbols and imagery throughout the movie — with nary a spoiler warning for the many people who have yet to actually see the film, which, again, has only been out for 48 hours.
Get tickets now if you want a decent seat. Or just stare at these freaky before-and-after pictures Nyong'o posted on Instagram to celebrate the film's opening. Got chills?