Jordan Peele’s “Nope” is successfully sending a message to moviegoers: Get out… and go to the theater.
The Universal release is expected to open this weekend with $44.5 million from 3,785 theaters, marking Pele’s third consecutive film to top the domestic box office.
The first indication that “No” might just be a summer box office hit came from its Thursday preview, which brought in a solid $6.4 million. Early projections saw the sci-fi horror film grossing $45 million to $60 million in its opening weekend. According to these estimates, the film is coming in a ball.
“Nope” is up a notch from Peele’s debut film, 2017’s “Get Out,” which took in $33.7 million, but well below Peele’s sophomore effort, 2019’s “Us,” which took in $71.1 million. . Both films grossed about $255 million worldwide. To match that milestone, “No” will have to rely on strong word of mouth in the coming weeks.
“No” has a production budget of $68 million, which is a good deal higher than the $4.5 million and $20 million figures that “Get Out” and “Us” have, respectively.
Even with the heavy financial burden, “No” looks to make a decent profit. The film’s word-of-mouth standing will be better gauged after its second weekend performance, though it’s not all sunshine and lollipops. Research firm CinemaScore gave a “B” grade of “No,” not an entirely enthusiastic response from general moviegoers. However, a more moderate cinematic score grade is not unusual for the horror genre.
In addition, “No” remains a rather bold title, pleased with the strong support of critics. Peele’s film currently holds an 84% approval rating from top critics on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. A variety of varietiesOwen Gleiberman of the film was as much, writing that “No” is “a strangely awful mixed bag of a sci-fi thriller” in which “the potential works better than it pays off.”
From Oscar-winning writer-director Paley, “No” stars Daniel Kaluuya, Kay Palmer and Steven Yeun in the story of horsemen who discover an unstoppable out-of-this-world adventure.
Disney’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” is second on the domestic charts. The superhero entry earned $6.12 million on Friday, a 56 percent drop from last week.
As is typical for Marvel Studios, “Love and Thunder” has been a box office force, earning $260 million in North America so far. The film currently stands as the sixth-highest-grossing domestic release of the year, still trending above the series’ previous entry, “Thor: Ragnarok,” which earned $235 million at the same point in its theatrical run.
Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Grove” looks to be in third place, down 37 percent in its fourth weekend of release. Dynamic Forecast expects to net $16.8 million this weekend and should push its domestic gross past $300 million next week.
“Rise of the Guru” stands as the fifth highest grossing domestic release of the year. The film’s 2015 prequel, “Minions,” ended its North American run with $336 million in the bank.
Sony’s “Where the Crawdads Sing” is shooting for fourth or fifth place, projecting $9.75 million in its second weekend. That would mark a modest 43 percent drop from the adaptation’s debut last weekend, indicating that word of mouth around the Daisy Edgar Jones starrer is in a strong place.
Rounding out the top five of the domestic charts, Paramount and Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick” refuses to back down. In its ninth weekend of release, the Tom Cruise-starrer sequel dropped 23 percent, adding $9.45 million to its domestic haul.
“Maverick” surpassed “The Avengers” earlier this week to become the ninth-highest-grossing domestic release of all time. With $628 million in the bank, the Paramount release will be on track to overtake “Jurassic World” in eighth place with $652 million. Then again, “Maverick” has done nothing but exceed expectations so far.