Jordan Peele is back with his third theatrical outing, and it’s poised to give the summer box office another stellar opening weekend.
With only three movies under his belt, Jordan Peele has become one of those directors making films moviegoers HAVE to see. His 2017 debut, Get Out, became a film of the must-see variety thanks to its glowing reviews and the fresh take it brought to the horror genre. It cleverly utilized social commentary to tell a genuinely frightening story and was rewarded with significant returns. On a $4.5 million budget, Get Out opened to $33.3 million and legged it out to $176.1 million at the domestic box office. Recognition during awards season followed, and the film was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, along with nods for star Daniel Kaluuya (Best Actor). Peele himself scored a Best Director nomination and notices for Best Original Screenplay, an award he rightfully took home.
Peele followed up Get Out with Us in 2019. Based mainly on the excitement of what he would do next, that film stormed out of the gate with an opening of $71.1 million. Us had a more polarizing reaction from the moviegoing public compared to Get Out (Us earned a “B” CinemaScore while Get Out registered an “A-“), but that didn’t stop the film from being a hit. On a $20 million budget, Us grossed $175 million at the domestic box office.
Peele is hoping for his third hit in a row with Nope, and if early word and reviews are any indications, he may just go three for three. As of this writing, Nope is 82% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and although that is down from the 98% rating for Get Out and the 93% score for Us, it’s still a solid showing for the genre. This time Peele is blending sci-fi with a bit of horror, and it’s being called his most ambitious effort to date. The budget on Nope is his highest yet at $68 million, but I think moviegoers will come out for Nope because Peele’s name now carries weight in this genre at the box office. Even though I think it will open below Us, my $65 million prediction is still a fantastic start.
Thor: Love and Thunder, which tumbled 68% in its second weekend, will level off a bit this time, but I think its next drop will still be sizable. Word of mouth doesn’t appear to be as strong compared to other MCU efforts, and that is what makes me believe a 50 percent+ weekend three drop is incoming. I’m predicting $20.5 million for Thor: Love and Thunder this weekend.
Minions: The Rise of Gru should remain the top choice for families this weekend at the box office and will continue its lucrative run. Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank wasn’t a threat to the Minions audience, and it has no family competition to speak off this weekend as well. This should lead to Minions: The Rise of Gru grossing $18 million this weekend.
The target audience came out for Where the Crawdads Sing to the tune of $17 million last weekend, and it still has a presence at the box office as counterprogramming for the female demographic. I don’t think the film is winning over the uninitiated to give the movie a shot, so it’s mainly relying on fans of the book wanting to see how it lives up to the source material. I’m calling for a $9.5 million second weekend for Where the Crawdads Sing.
Top Gun: Maverick will round out the top five and continue being the box office’s bright light of the year. The film will see another slight drop and should gross about $9 million over the weekend. The fact that the film has been in the top five since opening over Memorial Day is nothing short of amazing.
What are YOUR box office predictions?
TOP FIVE BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS:
- Nope – $65 million
- Thor: Love and Thunder – $20.5 million
- Minions: The Rise of Gru – $18 million
- Where the Crawdads Sing – $9.5 million
- Top Gun: Maverick – $9 million