Jordan Peele becomes first African American director to debut with a $100m movie

Jordan Peele, who recently struck out on his own after several hugely successful years as one half of Key and Peele (along with Keegan-Michael Key), has just made box-office and cinema history in one swoop.

Peele’s debut feature, Get Out, had been generating a great deal of buzz on movie sites for quite some time leading up to its release.

It had been stated that Peele had successfully merged genre cinema tropes with biting and relevant social commentary. Audiences, it would seem, share the enthusiasm of the bloggers and critics, for Get Out just broke the $100 million mark at the box office this past weekend. This makes Peele the first African-American writer-director to earn $100 million with his debut movie.

According to Music and Movie site Consequence of Sound; “In its third weekend of release, the horror-satire continued to show long legs despite strong competition from two big blockbusters, “Logan” and “Kong: Skull Island.” The film only saw a 25 percent drop off from the previous weekend to hold to an estimated $21 million, bringing its domestic cume to an estimated $111 million.”

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Not only did Peele, who produced as well as wrote and directed “Get Out,” achieve the milestone with a $4 million budget and a largely unknown cast, he set a new studio record for Blumhouse in the process. “Get Out” only needed 16 days for its domestic cume to pass the nine-digit mark. That breaks the record set by Blumhouse’s other 2017 hit, “Split,” which reached $100 million in 19 days.

Horror movies usually rely on a strong opening weekend for the majority of their box office haul, after which they hit a substantial drop-off in subsequent weeks. Not so for “Get Out.” The Universal/Blumhouse film was expected by trackers to make $24 million in its opening weekend. Instead, “Get Out” ended up beating that projection in both its first and second weekends, posting a $34 million opening before dropping off to $28 million in week two.

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In an archive interview with Forbes Magazine, Peele described the film as a modern day campfire story: “That’s what the movie (as it’s being sold) feels like, primal, but also very specific, folktale. It’s a way to deal with very specific issues in a way that doesn’t feel like medicine. It doesn’t feel like oatmeal. Even though there’s obviously value in (the message) in the final product, you need to get people in the theater first.”

Get Out is playing in most cinemas at the moment.

Colin J McCracken

Colin J McCracken is a content designer, editor and writer from Ireland. Giving form and function to the My Good Planet vision, it has been his role to design and develop the online platform, content and presence of the project.

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