UPDATED, Friday midday: Universal’s Nope, its R-rated third teaming with filmmaker Jordan Peele, is looking at a $20 million first Friday, including last night’s $6.4M previews, on its way to a $45M start in U.S. and Canada at 3,785 theaters.
That’s the best domestic debut for an original screenplay since Peele’s own Us ($71.1M), on its way to upset even the three-day of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which debuted to $41M in pre-pandemic July 2019. Still, it’s noteworthy for original work in a franchise-heavy summer: Other movies aimed at adults in the fall will require the loud wattage of positive reviews out of the fall film festival circuit to cross over and find audiences. Some studios are already positioning such movies like Bros and The Woman King for such traction.
We’ll see if more people say “yes” to Nope; tracking spotted a $50M opening, though the lower than the 90% percentile reviews of Peele’s other pics could be curbing business.
Social media analytics company RelishMix counted a social media universe for Nope close to 180M across Facebook, Twitter YouTube Instagram and TikTok — outpacing Us, which opened with an SMU at 111.3M; Halloween Kills at 107.8M; and the first A Quiet Place at 99.1M. The campaign for Nope was jump-started with a Super Bowl spot that clocked close to 22M views in the 24 hours following the game, strong for the only horror title alongside tentpoles Doctor Strange 2 at 93.1M views and Jurassic World Dominion at 86.8M.
As far as the online chatter for Nope, RelishMix says, “Convo attempts to connect the dots of the puzzle from trailers and interviews into a coherent string for UFOs mixed into a range of genres. Some are positively intrigued with others who argue in threads that the premise is over-stretched — while racial mentions are also frivolously thrown around and ignored as ignorance. Call-outs declare Peele the next ‘Stephen King’ or ‘M. Knight’ — with level of expectations from his comic levels of creative experimentation. ‘Nope, yup, nope, yup’ references are endless on social and in the press along with other appreciation that the trailers do not spoil the journey. Fans understand from materials, that they’ll experience a vast range in Keke Palmer’s character and they also know that they are going to see multi-dimensional performances from Daniel Kaluuya and this ensemble. Plus, non-horror fans are excited to see the next generation of cinema continue to unfold.”
In second at the domestic box office this weekend, Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Love & Thunder looks to do $5.7M in its third Friday at 4,370 theaters, off 58% from a week ago for an estimated weekend between $19M-20M, and running total of $274.5M.
Universal/Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru at 3,816 is seeing $5.1M in its fourth Friday, -38% from a week ago, for a three-day of $16.6M and a running total of $296.7M.
Sony’s Where the Crawdads Sing at 3,650 locations is counting between $2.6M-$3M and a second weekend between $8.6M-$10M, -41% on the high end, for a running total of $38M.
Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick booked at 3,160 theaters in its ninth weekend is seeing a $2.5M Friday and $8.85M three-day total, -28%, for a running cume by Sunday of $635.4M.
The Melrose Ave. lot’s Paws of Fury at 3,481 theaters counts a $1M Friday for a second weekend of $3.34M, -47%, and a 10-day total of $13.2M.
PREVIOUSLY, Friday, 7:33 a.m.: Jordan Peele’s third feature as director, Nope, grossed $6.4 million on Thursday night from 3,250 theaters that began screenings at 4 p.m.
That’s a good start for a Peele movie, just 14% off from the $7.4M his last horror pic, Us, made in previews in March 2019. That pic posted a $71.1M opening, the best start for an R-rated original horror movie at the domestic box office.
Nope‘s previews are well ahead of Get Out‘s $1.8M, which was a movie that audiences discovered in its opening weekend and flocked to, sending its opening to $33.3M.
Nope is Peele’s longest movie to date at 2 hours and 15 minutes. The movie’s critical scores on Rotten Tomatoes are, so far, the lowest of his three films, but the numbers are pretty good at 81% next to Us‘ 93% Certified fresh and the Oscar-nominated Get Out‘s at 98% certified fresh. The audience score on Rotten Tomatoes for Nope currently sits at 78% next to Us‘ 60% and Get Out‘s 86%.
Nope is expected to make around $50M. It may come in less than that given the runtime here for a horror movie, and should the critical scores ease. The film was made for $68M in the Santa Clarita Valley in Southern California before P&A.
Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder led Thursday among regular films in release with an estimated $3.8M at 4,375 theaters, off 15% from Wednesday for a running two-week total of $254M, 13% ahead of Thor: Ragnarok versus the same time frame.
Universal/Illumination’s Minions: Rise of Gru did $3.6M at 4,114 theaters, -4% from Wednesday, for a running three-week total of $280.1M, 1.8% ahead of 2015’s Minions over the same period. Minions ended its stateside run at $336M.
Sony’s Where the Crawdads Sing posted a $2.3M Thursday at 3,650 theaters, -8% from Wednesday, for a first-week total of $28M. That’s 31% ahead of the $21.3M first-week take of summer weepy The Notebook which ultimately finaled at $81M at the domestic box office.
Paramount/Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick at 3,292 grossed $1.6M yesterday, -4% from Wednesday, for a running eight-week total of $625.5M.
Warner Bros’ Elvis saw a fourth Thursday of $1.2M, -10% from Wednesday, for a running total of $112M.
Paramount’s animated family movie Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank posted $777K yesterday, +1.3%, for a first-week total of $9.8M.