Universal and Blumhouse are once again dominating the North American box office.
The race-conscious horror film Get Out — marking Jordan Peele’s feature directorial debut — will easily win the weekend with an estimated $28.5 million from 2,781 theaters after earning $10.8 million on Friday (including $1.8 million in previews) and nabbing an A- CinemaScore.
Get Out, which debuted as a secret midnight screening at Sundance last month, is exceeding expectations and boasts a rare 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The film cost under $5 million to make, and is Blumhouse and Universal’s second win in a row after M. Night Shyamalan’s horror-thriller Split.
Peele (Key & Peele) wrote Get Out, about 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.
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.
After Get Out, a crop of holdovers crowd the top of the chart. Warner Bros.’ Lego Batman is projected to come in second with an estimated $18, followed by Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter Two with $8 million-$9 million, The Great Wall with a projected $8 million and Fifty Shades Darker with an estimated $7 million (Fifty Shades Darker is crossing the $100 million mark domestically this weekend and $300 million worldwide).
The other two films opening this weekend are the animated family film Rock Dog and the long-delayed action film Collide, starring Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones.
A Chinese-American production, Rock Dog is projected to earn $4 million from 2,077 locations. The film was fully financed and produced by Mandoo Pictures and the Huayi Brothers. Lionsgate Premiere acquired domestic rights to the film, and is counting on strong DVD numbers following the film’s theatrical run.
The story follows a music-loving Tibetan mastiff named Bodi 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 — is on course for a dismal debut of $1.5 million from 2,045 theaters. The movie was originally set to open in October 2015.
Feb. 25, 7:18 a.m. Updated with revised weekend numbers.