'Us' breaks box office records during debut weekend

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Jordan Peele's new horror film terrified audiences and shattered expectations at the box office this weekend.

2017's "It" had the best box office opening in horror film history followed by 2018's "Halloween" and now Jordan Peele's "Us" film. The tally beat analysts' estimates of US$51 million to US$54 million - and ranked the film among the highest-openings ever for a horror feature.

Director Jordan Peele (L), and actors Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke, seen at the March 19, 2019 NY premiere of "Us", helped propel the horror film to the top of the North American box office. The film has earned US$26 million to date.

"There's nothing scary about horror for Hollywood", said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. The relatively low cost nearly guarantees a profit for the picture if it hits Box Office Pro's long-range forecast of US$147 million in ticket sales over its domestic run.

Peele's "Get Out" was a critically acclaimed blockbuster in theaters two years ago. Brie Larson's Carol Danvers remains a force at the box office, crossing $900 million in ticket sales globally. That was 56 times its budget.

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And even though awards season is barely even over for 2019, there's already a lot of Oscar buzz around Lupita's dual roles of Adelaide and Red, with many suggesting she could be about to land her second nomination, having previously scooped Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years A Slave back in 2014.

The Universal Pictures release opened as the No. 1 film in North America, registering weekend sales of US$70.3 million (S$95 million) from U.S. and Canadian theatres and toppling Captain Marvel, researcher Comscore Inc. estimated Sunday (March 24) in an email.

Joran Peele's latest horror movie, Us, is now tearing up the box-office, and its ambitious, abstract finale has undoubtedly left everyone leaving the cinema a little perplexed.

Strong reviews and word of mouth helped propel "Us".