With its combination of horror and racial commentary, “Get Out” (Universal) is the best bet to lead the Top 10 this weekend. With a chance to be not only a hit but also a game-changer, it looks like both a breakout for first-time director Jordan Peele and yet another winner for producer Jason Blum.
The timing on Oscar weekend, particularly in the aftermath of #oscarssowhite, is fortuitous, and it moves into release with a whopping 100% on Rotten Tomatoes after 85 reviews. Horror maven Jason Blum is also an Oscar-nominated producer (“Whiplash”) as well as the force behind M. Might Shyamalan’s “Split,” the first film of 2017 to gross over $100 million domestic.
“Get Out,” as befits its origins from comic actor/writer Jordan Peele (who stays behind the camera), is a mix of humor and horror in its tale of an interracial couple meeting her wealthy liberal white parents for the first time. The mix of satire and tension is not typical horror fare, but the originality and topicality could propel this to a $20 million + opening weekend. That, plus any sort of a hold, would be terrific for another under-$5-million Blumhouse production.
Its sole rival for number one will be the third weekend of “The Lego Batman Movie” (Warner Bros.), which should soon top “Split” as the biggest 2017 release so far. A one-third drop, on par with similar films, would put this at $20 million for the weekend and, depending on the “Get Out” performance, a chance to be tops again.
Two other minor openers will rank below several other holdovers. “Collide” is a German/British thriller originally slated by Relativity but shed during their bankruptcy. It has already played most of the world (with initial dates last June, but a gross so far under $3 million). The crime thriller featuring high-speed chases features three past Oscar winners and nominees — Anthony Hopkins, Felicity Jones and Ben Kingsley — to remind folks that the award at least can help keep actors employed.
The animated indie “Rock Dog” (Lionsgate) should do a little better than “Collide,” which looks headed to a sub-$5 million result. It serves as an alternative to “Lego” for families ready to return for a new release, but similar to the distributor’s “Norm of the North” early last year, it should end up under $20 million for its domestic run.
Holdovers “Fifty Shades Darker” (Universal), “The Great Wall” (Universal), and “John Wick: Chapter 2” (Lionsgate) will likely rank higher than “Rock Dog” and “Collide.” Also expect a last-minute rush for all the leading Oscar contenders still out in theaters; it’s the last chance for most of them to benefit.
“My Life as a Zucchini” (GKids), the final Oscar nominated film to be released for regular play, opens in exclusive dates in New York and Los Angeles. One of the five contenders for Best Animated Feature, it was also the Swiss submission for Foreign Language Film (and was a semi-finalist).
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