The low-budget film was the weekend's top-grossing domestic
release, earning $30.5 million, and propelling its director and
writer Jordan Peele onto the Hollywood A-list.
The film, which centers on a black man who discovers that his
girlfriend's liberal, lily-white hometown is guarding a sinister
secret, marks a departure for Peele, who is best-known for his
work on the Comedy Central series "Key & Peele."
It proves he can handle scares, as well as laughs, supplying sly
social commentary in both genres.
"Get Out" also extends Blumhouse Productions' hot hand.
The film company scored earlier this year with "Split," a
thriller about a man with a personality disorder that racked up
$130.8 million stateside on a $9 million budget. Universal
distributed, marketed, and partnered on both movies.
"Get Out" benefited from being embraced by reviewers, earning a
rare 100% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the likes of
the Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern hailing its "explosive
brilliance" and the New York Times' Manohla Dargis praising it
as "exhilaratingly smart."
Not the kind of notices most horror films enjoy. Its success
comes as most of the movie business' gaze is affixed on the
Dolby Theater, where the Academy Awards will unfold on Sunday,
with "La La Land" expected to be the night's big winner.
With "Get Out" galvanizing multiplexes, two other new releases,
"Collide" and "Rock Dog," collapsed.
As the newcomers stumbled, "The Lego Batman Movie" continued to
show strength, racking up $19 million in its third week to push
its domestic gross to $133 million.
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