Box-Office Preview: Jordan Peele's 'Get Out' to Impress With Possible $20M U.S. Debut
Chinese-American animated film 'Rock Dog' and action pic 'Collide' also open over Oscar weekend, historically a quiet frame at the box office for big event films.
Look for Universal and Jason Blum to score another win at the box office this weekend with the microbudgeted Get Out, a thriller and social commentary on race relations that marks the feature directorial debut of Jordan Peele (Key & Peele).
Prerelease tracking suggests the film, which cost under $5 million to make, could approach or cross $20 million in its debut. Universal is being more cautious and suggesting high-teen millions. Get Out, which premiered in a secret midnight screening at the Sundance Film Festival in January, is getting a berth in 2,777 theaters.
Peele's film — boasting a rare 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes — hopes to steal the crown from holdover The Lego Batman Movie, which enters its third weekend. From Warner Bros., Lego Batman has earned north of $110 million domestically to date and $183 million worldwide.
Hollywood studios generally refrain from opening big event movies on Oscar weekend, and this year is no exception. The landscape changes dramatically on March 3, when X-Men spinoff Logan debuts, followed by Kong: Skull Island on March 10 and Beauty and the Beast on March 17.
Peele also wrote the script for Get Out, which focuses on a young African-American man (Daniel Kaluuya) who is apprehensive about meeting the family of his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) since she hasn't told them he is black. When they arrive at her parents' home, he is further alarmed to learn that young black men have a habit of disappearing.
Jason Blum's Blumhouse Productions produced Get Out alongside QC Entertainment's Sean McKittrick, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Peele. The cast also includes Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones and Stephen Root.
Get Out opens in the glow of Universal and Blumhouse's hit horror-thriller Split from director M. Night Shyamalan. Split has grossed $196 million at the global box office since its Jan. 20 release.
Two other films open this weekend: animated family film Rock Dog and long-delayed action film Collide, starring Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Marwan Kenzari, Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins.
A China-U.S. co-production, Rock Dog was fully financed and produced by Mandoo Pictures and the Huayi Brothers. Lionsgate Premiere acquired domestic rights to the film after tracking the movie for more than two years. Rock Dog, playing in roughly 2,000 theaters, is projected to open in the $4 million to $5 million range and is counting on being a strong DVD player.
The story follows Bodi, a music-loving Tibetan mastiff who embarks on an adventure to fulfill his dreams of becoming a musician.
Open Road and IM Global's Collide — a leftover title from Relativity Media — may only take in $3 million to $4 million from 2,045 theaters. The action thriller was originally set to open in October 2015.
There are no reviews yet for Collide or Rock Dog.