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'Us' Opening Weekend Proves the Black Community Has Jordan Peele's Back

The film killed its opening night at the box office, as fans show support for a director that's been ramping up his nods to black culture.

by Taylor Hosking
Mar 22 2019, 8:19pm

Lars Niki / Getty Images

Jordan Peele clearly had the world waiting with bated breath after the success of Get Out, because fans around the world flocked to theaters for this week’s premier of his latest horror film Us. On Thursday’s North America opening night at the box office, the film brought in $7.4 million, already putting it on track to surpass Get Out’s successful $33 million opening weekend by potentially more than $10 million, Variety reports. But more importantly, people are rallying hard for the film. Audiences clearly understand the importance of supporting the directors of color that they want Hollywood to make more room for.

More than that, audiences eager to support Peele’s future career understand how important it is to boost the film’s sales on opening weekend. One Twitter user had ambitious hopes of getting the film to $100 million in earnings opening weekend tweeting, “if you don’t like horror movies buy a ticket for a friend.” And it looks like people are actually doing just that. Fellow black director Matthew Cherry gave away 55 tickets for opening weekend to the first people that responded to his tweets. Others who couldn’t make it opening weekend have been making small kind gestures of solidarity, like a woman in Atlanta who tweeted that she’d like to “buy tickets for a family of 4 that can’t afford it.” These gestures echo the sentiments behind fundraisers for affordable screenings of Black Panther and Captain Marvel.

Students at the HBCU Howard University may take the cake for being the most hype about the film. Lead actor Winston Duke’s character is a proud Howard alum, and excited Howard students lined up before dawn on Monday for tickets. Co-star Lupita Nyong'o even tweeted a shoutout to the students ahead of her visit to one of the screenings. But opening night was festive AF in the rest of the world too— dancers in red grass skirts hit the stage in Paris, and in London Duke graced the red carpet in a purple suit to contrast Nyong’o’s oddly hot but scary red contacts. Peele, apparently unfazed by his global takeover, made the biggest power move of all pulling up to the London premier in a casual flannel and jean jacket.

With Us, Peele has taken his connection to the black community to the next level. He’s hyped up the movie’s soundtrack, which is largely full of hip hop and R&B hits. He’s held #UsFirst screenings around the country for primarily black journalists to be able to see the movie early. And he intentionally cast a dark-skinned lead family, telling Shadow and Act, “Every notch along the way I recognized how important it was to have a dark-skinned family in the center of this movie."

From the looks of it, all Peele’s extra effort is paying off. And audiences are rallying to show him they at least got five on it.

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