Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ on Pace for $67 Million Opening, Double ‘Get Out’ Debut

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Universal/Monkeypaw’s “Us” is blowing by all analysts’ expectations. On the back of strong pre-release buzz and an opening day total of $29 million, Jordan Peele’s second film is estimated to gross $67 million from 3,741 screens this weekend.

If that estimate holds, not only will “Us” have doubled the opening weekend of Peele’s debut film “Get Out” ($33.3 million), it will set a new opening weekend record for original horror films, beating the $50.2 million of last year’s “A Quiet Place.” It’s also a record for any original film released in March.

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The one somewhat bad note for “Us” is that while critics have been raving about the film with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95 percent, audiences aren’t quite as enthused as they were for “Get Out.” While that film earned an A on CinemaScore, “Us,” with its more opaque theming and twist ending, has received a B from opening night audiences, which is typical for what horror films tend to receive from the audience poll.

Postrak demographic data shows that Friday night’s audience was 31 percent African-American, compared to 34 percent Caucasians, 22 percent Hispanic/Latino, and 13 percent Asian/Other.

Also Read: Here’s All the Horror Movie References We Found in ‘Us’ So Far (Photos)

“Captain Marvel” will settle for the No. 2 spot in its third weekend, though it is still continuing its torrid pace, as it will pass the $315 million domestic total for “Thor: Ragnarok” by Sunday’s end. The Marvel movie is set to make $34.6 million in its third weekend, bringing its domestic total to $321 million and, depending on overseas results, possibly push its global total past the $1 billion mark.

CBS Films/Lionsgate’s “Five Feet Apart” takes third place with an estimated $8.6 million, dropping 34 percent from its $13.1 million opening. Paramount’s “Wonder Park” is fourth, dropping 50 percent for a $7.8 million opening. “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” completes the top five with $6.7 million in its fifth weekend.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Scares Up $7.4 Million at Thursday Box Office

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Us,” the horror follow-up to “Get Out” from director Jordan Peele and released by Universal, earned a massive $7.4 million in its Thursday box office previews from 3,150 screens. It opens on 3,741 screens this weekend.

Independent trackers have “Us” expected to earn between $45-50 million, though Universal is saying that the opening would be considered a success if it was within the range of “Get Out.” Peele’s previous film earned $33.3 million in its first weekend in 2017 following a Thursday preview total of just $1.8 million.

A $50 million opening for “Us” would also put it within the range of the opening for John Krasinski’s horror film “A Quiet Place,” which earned $4.3 million during its Thursday previews. It also eclipsed the total of last year’s horror prequel “The Nun,” which made an impressive $5.4 million on Thursday ahead of a $53.8 million opening.

Also Read: ‘Us’ Film Review: Jordan Peele Terrifies Again With a Chilling Examination of Duality

“Get Out” was made on a trim $4.5 million budget, while “Us” cost a still modest $20 million. But behind killer word of mouth and a Rotten Tomatoes score that currently sits at 94 percent with 183 reviews counted, “Us” is expected to leg out well beyond its opening and could reach a domestic run of over $200 million.

“Us” stars Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), and their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) for an idyllic summer getaway. After spending a tense day at the beach with their friends (Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker), Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home to discover the silhouettes of four figures standing in their driveway. “Us” pits an ordinary American family against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.

Peele wrote and directed “Us,” his second feature, for his Monkeypaw Productions alongside Ian Cooper. The film is the company’s first solo production venture. Sean McKittrick and Jason Blum also produced.

“Us” could top what would be the third weekend for Marvel’s “Captain Marvel.” It also opens opposite the true-story thriller “Hotel Mumbai” and the foreign film “Sunset,” and Julianne Moore’s “Gloria Bell” going wider.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Screaming $4M+, Well Ahead Of ‘Get Out’ – Early Thursday Night B.O. Read

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EXCLUSIVE: Our box office intel says that Jordan Peele’s Us from Universal/Monkeypaw Productions is on track for a $4M-plus Thursday night, possibly even $5M off showtimes that began at 7PM.
These numbers could always fluctuate, and even if Us dr…

Jordan Peele doubles the horror and doubles the fun in the expertly crafted Us

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You know you’re in the hands of a natural born filmmaker when you can feel yourself being tugged, as if by invisible forces, from one shot to the next, into a movie’s diabolical design. That’s the sensation provoked by Jordan Peele’s Us, which begins w…

Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Headed Toward an Even Bigger Opening Than ‘Get Out’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Two years ago, Jordan Peele became the box office’s biggest surprise as “Get Out” became one of the year’s biggest cultural and financial hits. Now, with an Oscar and multiple producer attachments to his name, Peele is ready to make a big splash at the box office again as Universal releases his second film, “Us,” nationwide this weekend.

While there were 14 other films that had a higher domestic gross than in 2017, “Get Out” had by far the biggest return on investment. Produced by Blumhouse with its usual thrifty approach, the film grossed $176 million domestic and $255 million worldwide against a mere $4.5 million production budget. The film also legged out far better than most horror or R-rated movies, as it opened to $33.3 million in February 2017 and more than quintupled that amount by the end of its domestic theatrical run.

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Universal says that any opening higher than what “Get Out” made would be considered a success, but trackers are very optimistic as they project a $45-50 million opening. An opening on the higher end of that range would match the $50.2 million opening of last year’s horror hit “A Quiet Place,” which “Us” is currently outperforming in advance ticket sales on Fandango. The film is also expected to leg out as well as “Get Out,” which could mean a domestic run of more than $200 million against a $20 million production budget.

Even compared to other upcoming horror films like “Pet Sematary,” “Us” is a fiercely unique film that is enjoying immense social buzz and critical acclaim. Since its premiere on the opening night of SXSW, “Us” has earned a 98 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, with 68 reviews logged. And along with lead stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, both of whom are still riding high off of their “Black Panther” fame, “Us” also has something that was once common decades ago but which is now rare: a director with box office draw.

Also Read: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Wins Over Critics: ‘A Masterpiece’ Despite Some ‘Messiness’

“In horror, there is a brand recognition with Blumhouse, but there isn’t a single director that has become so popular with audiences as Jordan Peele has,” said Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock. “The closest person I can think of is Eli Roth, but even he didn’t get nearly as big off of just one film the way Peele has with ‘Get Out.’”

Written, directed, and co-produced by Peele, “Us” stars Nyong’o and Duke as an upper-middle class African-American couple on vacation with their two kids. But their vacation is interrupted when they are attacked by clones of themselves known as The Tethered, who have come to claim the family’s lives for themselves. Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss also star in the film, which was produced by Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, QC Productions’ Sean McKittrick and Ian Cooper, who is producing alongside Peele through Monkeypaw Productions

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‘Aquaman’ Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Talks to Lead Jordan Peele’s ‘Candyman’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is in talks to star in the title role of the upcoming “Candyman” sequel from Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions.

The retelling of the film is described as a “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 original, which was adapted from “The Forbidden,” Clive Barker’s short story.f “Candyman” returns to the now-gentrified section of Chicago where the Cabrini-Green Homes once stood

“Candyman” will be directed by Nia DaCosta (“Little Woods”), with Peele and Win Rosenfeld penning the screenplay. Production is set to begin in the spring.

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Abdul-Mateen’s breakout role came in Baz Luhrmann’ 2016 Netflix series “The Get Down.” He’s since had roles in “Baywatch” and “The Greatest Showman,” and most recently, he starred opposite Jason Momoa in “Aquaman.”

Abdul-Mateen will also appear in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” directorial follow-up, “Us.”

“Candyman” is being produced in partnership with Monkeypaw and MGM, and will be distributed by Universal Pictures with a June 12, 2020 release date.

“The original was a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre,” Peele has said of the film. “Alongside ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ ‘Candyman’ was a major inspiration for me as a filmmaker — and to have a bold new talent like Nia at the helm of this project is truly exciting. We are honored to bring the next chapter in the ‘Candyman’ canon to life and eager to provide new audiences with an entry point to Clive Barker’s legend.”

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Ian Cooper will produce for Monkeypaw, while Adam Rosenberg, MGM’s co-president of production and Tabitha Shick, MGM’s vice president of production, will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Abdul-Mateen is repped by Gersh and Anonymous Content.

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‘Get Out’ Star Allison Williams to Star in STX Survival-Thriller ‘Horizon Line’

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Allison Williams (“Get Out,” “Girls”) and Alexander Dreymon (“The Last Kingdom”) are set to star in “Horizon Line,” the upcoming survival-thriller for STXfilms and Nordic major SF Studios, which developed the project.

“Horizon Line” follows former lovers Sara and Jackson who find themselves reunited ahead of their friend’s tropical island wedding. As the only passengers on a single-engine Cessna plane making its way over the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, a spark soon rekindles between the two. However, when their pilot suddenly suffers a heart attack, the couple must fight for their lives to stay airborne and find their way back to land.

SF Studios’ own Fredrik Wikström Nicastro (“Borg/McEnroe,” “Easy Money”) will produce, with award-winning director Mikael Marcimain (“Call Girl,” “The Laser Man”) set to direct. The original screenplay was written by Josh Campbell & Matt Stuecken, who penned “10 Cloverfield Lane.”

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“I am so excited to produce the first English language film of one of Sweden’s most talented directors, based on Josh and Matt’s unique script with Allison Williams and Alexander Dreymon starring.  This is going to be an entertaining thrill ride that we are looking forward to making with our friends at STX,” Nicastro said in a statement.

Principal photography will commence in Mauritius on Feb. 11, 2019 before moving to Dublin and then Pinewood in London. STXinternational is handling international distribution. The company will launch sales at the upcoming European Film Market.

“When I first read Horizon Line I was immediately struck by the high concept, constant tension and brilliant characters that just jumped from the page.  You are rooting for this couple at every step of the way – it’s a complete crowd pleaser and audiences in the U.S. and around the world will love them and the film,” said STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson in a statement. “It also makes me especially happy to be partnering with Fredrik and our friends at SF Studios.”

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Horizon Line is one of the first features in SF Studio’s strategy to produce English-language films for the international market.  Upcoming SF Studios productions include a U.S. remake of “A Man Called Ove” starring Tom Hanks, based on the international bestseller and the Oscar-nominated box-office hit, and “I am Victor,” based on an upcoming novel by Jo Nesbø adapted by the Bond scribes Purvis and Wade with Baltasar Kormakur set to direct.

Executive producers of Horizon Line are Jaume Collett-Sera (“The Shallows,” “Non-Stop”), Juan Sola (“The Commuter”) and Peter Garde (“A Royal Affair,” “Antichrist”).

Swedish film and TV director Mikael Marcimain’s credits include “Call Girl,” “Gentlemen” and “The Laser Man.”

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Allison Williams is best known for her critically acclaimed performance in Jordan Peele’s Academy Award-winning 2017 horror film “Get Out” and her role as Marnie Michaels on the HBO comedy-drama series “Girls.”

Alexander Dreymon’s credits include the Netflix/BBC series “The Last Kingdom”, FX’s Emmy Award-winning series “American Horror Story: Coven.” Dreymon also appeared in the WW II movie Resistance.

Mikael Marcimain is repped by Agentfirman Planthaber/Kildén/Mandic. Williams is repped by CAA. Dreymon is repped by The Gersh Agency.

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Why Ridley Scott Thinks Prestige Horror ‘Works Better’ on TV

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The much-buzzed about “Hereditary” comes out today — and based on all the reviews — it appears if you catch the horror flick at your local movie theater it will traumatize you (in an elevated way) for quite some time. Or maybe just until you get home and turn on your TV.

With the resurgence of prestigious films that give you the chills (see Ari Aster’s disturbing family tale above, “Get Out,” “It,” “A Quiet Place” and the upcoming “Suspiria” remake),  TheWrap thought we’d check in with Ridley Scott — whose 1979 film “Alien” is one of the most famed horror movies of all time — about where the classier side of the genre is headed these days. And this was while discussing one of his most recent projects: a TV show he told us was “better” than a spooky flick in a lot of ways.

“I think so, because horror, in a funny kind of way, is famous for a captive audience,” Scott said when TheWrap asked if he thought TV was taking over the prestige horror genre (despite the release of the titles we already mentioned) in an interview last month ahead of the Season 1 finale of his frightening AMC series, “The Terror.”

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“[And with TV] you are at home. And by being at home you are kind of uneasy,” Scott continued. “‘Cause if you are by yourself, you’re looking over your shoulder in the room. I think, yeah, it kind of makes it more — if horror can be called ‘fun’ and being scared to death can be called ‘fun,’ then yeah, I think it works better at home rather than sitting in a room full of lots of people. Sitting by yourself, the fear can be really scary if the show is very effective. I still like to put it under the heading of ‘fun.’ Hopefully, it can be ‘fun.’”

“‘The Walking Dead’ set that up fine, didn’t they?” Scott said of the beginnings of elevated scary stories making their way onto the small screen. “It’s all good, because I think what’s happening with the real evolution and expansion of television is coming some really great writing and some really great ideas. I mean, television, in a funny kind of way, is rather in its Golden Age, isn’t it? It’s really evolving and — if you’re not careful — it will definitely replace feature films, which would be a pity, because it’s very great to watch something on a very big screen.”

“But a lot of this material, honestly, works on the smaller screen,” Scott added. “And today, your technology of what we call a smaller screen today can be at least 3 or 4 feet with a great sound and great picture quality. So it’s becoming more and more difficult to make feature films compete with the evolving TV now. Very good quality. And there is a lot of good writers working in TV now.”

Also Read: Watch the Terrifying Trailer for Sundance Horror Film ‘Hereditary’ (Video)

Two such writers Scott knows are Soo Hugh and David Kajganich, the creators and showrunners behind “The Terror.” And while they both have dabbled in film too (with Kajganich being the screenwriter behind the next iteration of “Suspiria”) this particular project — a fictionalized account of a British expedition that becomes stuck in the ice and is haunted by a creature — was meant for TV. Always. Mainly because the Jared Harris-led drama had characters whose stories just wouldn’t fit into the confined timing of a feature film.

“The question really is, is the horror being driven by character?” Kajganich said. “And if it is, then television is a fantastic opportunity for, you know, these longer form stories. I think that’s something a lot of people haven’t thought about. That a genre like horror can be driven by character and can benefit from six hours, eight hours, 10 hours, multiple seasons. And that’s certainly something we loved about this experience.”

“We knew we were in the horror genre, but we knew we wanted to drive it with character,” Kajganich continued. “And the chance to do that over 10 hours is just not something you would ever have in cinema. You would never have a character-based horror franchise that lasted five films. It would just be sort of unthinkable. But we got to do it on TV. So it could be a boon for character-based horror in the most profound way.”

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Kajganich added that horror on television can now “rival the visceral experience of horror in a movie theater” because you don’t have to “neuter” the visual elements of the story in the same way you used to.

Of course irony sets in here when Kajganich tells you he sort of wishes “some enterprising movie theater would do a ‘Terror’ weekend” so fans could watch it all together.

So horror on TV, but make it movies?

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