If one needed to point toward a single fact that highlights a changing tide of interest in films focused on the experiences of black Americans, the success of Hidden Figures and the celebration of both it and Moonlight would be enough to eek out a little optimism in this particular realm. The success thus far of Jordan Peele‘s celebrated horror film Get Out at the box office, however, suggests a hugely promising trend, especially considering the movie does not feature a single marquee name.
Get Out finished off Friday with $10.8 million, easily beating out its closest contender, The LEGO Batman Movie, and setting up a clear, direct route to winning the weekend over the animated blockbuster. Estimates put Get Out at finishing off the weekend with some $28 million in the bank against an estimated $18 million take for The LEGO Batman Movie. In contrast, it’s barely even worth noting that Rock Dog and Collide, the weekend’s two other openers, didn’t even break $1 million ($888,000 and $583,000, respectively) and are estimated to bring in $3 million or less by the end of the weekend.
One can expect Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter Two to show up in the final top five as well, rounded out by The Great Wall or, possibly, either Hidden Figures or La La Land in one last catch-up round before Sunday’s Oscars. Regardless, Get Out‘s supremacy looks undeniable this weekend and though next week’s race looks to be all over already with the arrival of the box office juggernaut that will be James Mangold‘s Logan, the movie could prove to have similar legs as Split, another galvanic, imperfect horror flick made on a modest budget.
That’s my hope for a movie that, much like Ava DuVernay‘s powerful 13th, Raoul Peck‘s outraged I Am Not Your Negro, and the robust classicism of Hidden Figures, shines a light on an area of experience and knowledge that is often ignored in the name of keeping things safe at the movies. If Get Out announces anything, it’s that there is a market – one that goes far beyond the classifications of race or sex – for a movie that has the power to destabilize long-accepted, often illusory beliefs.