Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed Us did terrifying business at the Friday (March 22) box office, grossing $29 million for a projected $67 million-plus weekend.
That would mark one of the best starts ever for a pure horror title behind It ($123.4 million) and last year’s Halloween sequel ($76.2 million), according to Box Office Mojo. And it would be the best opening ever for an original horror pic that’s not a sequel or based on existing IP. Fueled by an ethnically diverse audience, Us is coming in ahead well ahead of expectations.
The R-rated offering, from Universal and Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, is easily beating Captain Marvel, now in its third weekend. Captain Marvel is certainly no slouch and should earn another $32 million domestically for the frame as it zooms past $300 million in North America and $900 million worldwide.
Starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, Us tells the story of Adelaide Wilson (Nyong’o), an African-American woman who returns to her beachside childhood home with her two children and husband, played by Duke (Black Panther). Soon, they come up against terrifying and uncanny opponents: doppelgangers of themselves.
Caucasians made up 34 percent of Friday’s ticket buyers, followed by African-Americans (31 percent), Hispanics (22 percent) and Asian/Other (13 percent), according to PostTrak.
Us is the second feature Peele has helmed after Get Out, the 2017 horror film that turned into a cultural sensation and a commentary on race relations. Get Out bowed to $33.4 million domestically on its way to grossing $176 million in North America and $79.4 million overseas, for a total of $255.4 million against a tiny $4.5 million production budget.
Costing a still-modest $20 million to produce, Us currently boasts a stellar 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences gave it a B CinemaScore (it’s commonplace for horror films to receive a B or a C).
Offshore, the film is debuting in 48 markets this weekend.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.