Made for about $5 million and starring no major stars – unless you’re a particularly big Catherine Keener supporter – Jordan Peele‘s Get Out is now the most popular film in America. Expectations for the film were set in the upper $20 millions, which would have been enough on its own to scare off the stale yet amiable hijinks of The LEGO Batman Movie. Peele’s horror film, however, went well over expectations to score an impressive $30.5 million take for the weekend by early estimates that have come in this morning.
One has to wonder how far Peele’s brilliant and furious horror flick might have gone if next week did not bring James Mangold‘s Logan, a box office nuke that will certainly keep all other comers at bay for at least two frames. Like Split, the low-budgeted M. Night Shyamalan delight that grasped onto the top spot for three frames in January, Get Out is a Blumhouse production and it continues a classical business strategy that helped build some of the best indie studios in the 1980s and 90s: give a good director $10 million or less to make whatever they want and market the ever-loving shit out of it. With this strategy, Blumhouse has been scoring big in 2017 and if they can keep it up, they could attract even bigger names.
Of course, the downside is that Blumhouse has made collectively this year around what The LEGO Batman Movie alone has made, taking the number two spot for the first time this week with a still admirable $19 million. The rest of the top five was filled out by John Wick: Chapter Two, Fifty Shades Darker, and The Great Wall, while other newcomers Collide and Rock Dog finished outside of the top ten. And following Logan, we’ll have the blockbuster rev-up to the Summer season in full swing with the likes of Kong: Skull Island and the almost painfully unnecessary Beauty and the Beast remake following the superhero swan song in the weeks after. For the weeks to come, at least until April, we will likely be seeing these colossuses battle it all out for the top spot and to make a name for the end-of-the-year tally but for right now, there’s something sublime about seeing riskier films like Get Out and, to a far lesser extent, Split grab their prizes.