Lupita Nyong’o’s ‘Us’ Performance Just Made History For Black Women

#BlackGirlMagic, indeed.

Jordan Peele's Us has amassed tons of conversations surrounding its layered themes and its record-breaking box office standing, which includes it becoming the biggest opening ever of an original horror film. 

Now it is being reported that the film achieved another feat that many may have overlooked, and it is all thanks to lead actress Lupita Nyong'o's praise-worthy performance. 

According to Shadow and Act, the horror film made history becoming the highest domestic opening weekend gross for a movie headlined by a Black woman.

Prior to the release of Us, the record was held by Sanaa Lathan, who, more than a decade ago, was the lead in Alien v. Predator, which grossed more than $38.2 million in its opening weekend. Us grossed a staggering $70 million in its first three days of release alone.

For all intents and purposes, the site clarifies that the criterion for this feat is simply a Black woman being top-billing in the movie's credits. This means that she stands as the main face marketed in the film itself and its promotions.

According to Box Office Mojo, the current top five highest grossing films led by Black women are Us (2019), led by Nyong'o; Alien v. Predator (2014), led by Lathan; A Wrinkle in Time (2018), led by Oprah Winfrey; Girls Trip (2018), led by Regina Hall; and Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010), led by Janet Jackson.

Fans of Jordan Peele can also expect this to become a trend in his future works as he recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he has no interest in casting "white dudes" as leads, like several of his peers in film do.

"The way I look at it, I get to cast Black people in my movies," he told the publication. "I feel fortunate to be in this position where I can say to Universal, 'I want to make a $20 million horror movie with a Black family,' and they say yes... I don't see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don't like white dudes. But I've seen that movie."

Judging from these words, it's safe to say that a theme many can expect from Peele's current and future works is definitely "Black excellence."

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