Weekend Estimates: Us Captures Horror Record on Opening Day, Aims for $65M+ Debut; Captain Marvel to Add $35M, Cross $300M Domestic

Saturday Update: Universal reports that Jordan Peele’s Us scored a stellar $29.06 million opening day on Friday, inclusive of Thursday night’s $7.4 million haul. That sets a new record for an original R-rated horror film, besting The Nun‘s $22.1 million last fall and The Conjuring‘s $16.96 million almost six years ago).

Current projections position the breakout hit for an opening weekend around $65 million or higher, which would give it the third best-ever debut for an R-rated horror title ahead of The Nun ($53.8 million), trailing only franchise pics It ($123.4 million) and 2018’s Halloween ($76.2 million).

All time, Us claimed the third highest opening day in history for R-rated horror films — trailing only It ($50.4 million) and last year’s Halloween ($33.1 million).

For stats fans, here’s how that $29.06 million first day stacks up against similar films:

  • 83 percent ahead of Glass ($15.9 million)
  • 12 percent behind 2018’s Halloween ($33.1 million)
  • 32 percent ahead of The Nun ($22.1 million)
  • 54 percent ahead of A Quiet Place ($18.9 million)
  • 168 percent ahead of Get Out ($10.8 million)
  • 99 percent ahead of Split ($14.6 million)
  • 71 percent ahead of The Conjuring ($17.0 million)
  • 10.5 percent ahead of Paranormal Activity 3 ($26.3 million)

Breaking down the Thursday-to-Friday performance, Us earned a 3.93x multiple off its $7.4 million opening night start — a bit below films like Halloween (4.3x), The Nun (4.09x), and A Quiet Place (4.39x), and noticeably behind Get Out (6.02x).

This seems to confirm our previous expectation that the film would perform more like a front-loaded sequel than an original film (initially, at least) due to the immense goodwill earned by Peele and the aforementioned cultural sensation that was Get Out.

For example, almost immediately after the first trailer for Us debuted, fans around the world began creating art based on the film’s characters (link) — a type of loyal following typically only inspired by high profile franchises.

Where the film goes from here depends highly on word of mouth, but the expectation so far is that it will have a strong run ahead.

Meanwhile, Captain Marvel added another $9.23 million on Friday, off just 52 percent from last Friday despite the competition from Us and a loss of premium screens (and their higher prices) to Peele’s film. It’s shaping up for a strong third frame around $35 million.

The Marvel blockbuster stands at $295.7 million domestically through 15 days of play, 7 percent ahead of where Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 stood at the same point with $275.5 million. Carol Danvers’ origin epic is set to cross $300 million domestically today, making it the 13th out of 21 MCU films to top that mark.

Early weekend estimates are below. Check back for updated studio estimates on Sunday, followed by actual results on Monday.

Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, MAR. 22 – SUN, MAR. 24

(Click the chart below to open larger view in a new tab)

Friday Report: Universal announced this morning that Us began its domestic run with a $7.4 million haul from shows beginning at 7pm in 3,150 locations last night, setting the stage for an excellent weekend ahead.

The strongly reviewed thriller’s jumping-off point registers:

  • 100 percent ahead of Glass ($3.7 million)
  • 4 percent behind Halloween ($7.7 million)
  • 37 percent ahead of The Nun ($5.4 million)
  • 72 percent ahead of A Quiet Place ($4.3 million)
  • 311 percent ahead of Get Out ($1.8 million)

With this kind of entry into the regular weekend, Us looks poised to deliver an opening on the bullish end of expectations — and potentially even higher.

As noted in our weekend forecast, though, there is some expectation that Peele’s fanbase and goodwill from Get Out could create minor front-loading within its pre-Saturday earnings.

Follow Boxoffice for more updates throughout the weekend.

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