Get Out has beaten a nearly 20-year record, held by ‘The Blair Witch Project,’ becoming the highest-grossing debut for a writer-director based on an original screenplay.
…Get Out is now the third-biggest R-rated horror film of all time, behind only Hannibal ($165 million in 2001) and The Exorcist ($232m including reissues). And yeah, it’s going to pass Hannibal before it’s done. The film is now the highest-grossing original live-action release of 2017, and it will soon pass San Andreas ($155m in 2015) to become the biggest original live-action domestic hit since Chris Nolan’s Interstellar ($189m in late 2014). Looking at the landscape, I don’t see anything out there in the “not based on anything” realm that tops this superb performance.
Not only is Get Out a huge hit, but it’s also a film that truly captured the zeitgeist and inspired grassroots fandom in a way not as often seen in studio multiplex offerings. It became a lightning rod for conversation and deconstruction as well as knowing in-jokes and memes based on its plot and its content. In a world where pop culture conversation feels dominated by television, Netflix and online content (to say nothing of actual political news and current events), Get Out was a movie that mattered to the populace beyond just the film nerd bubble.
It’s still late March, and we’ve still got nine months to go, but I can’t imagine a happier box office story than the jaw-dropping triumph of Jordan Peele’s Get Out. He just scored blockbuster grosses without playing in the blockbuster sandbox while touching a nerve in the culture at large while proving (yet again) that stories about non-white guys for non-white guys and made by non-white guys can do massive box office. I hope we can keep the Daniel Kaluuya/Allison Williams/Catherine Keener/Bradley Whitford film in the Oscar conversation over the next year, although at this point a nomination for Best Original Screenplay feels like a lock. Whatever my feelings on whatever he does next, if he wants to take the money and run, he has earned it.
Congrats to Jordan Peele!