Jordan Peele’s new film Nope, the science-fiction thriller starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, topped the weekend box office in North America with its $44 million debut, Variety reported Sunday (July 24).
Ticket sales for Nope, Peele’s third film, came up short of the projected $50 million. Still, it represents the highest opening weekend tally for an original film since Peele’s Us debuted in 2019 at $71 million. His 2017 movie Get Out opened at $33 million. This marks Peele's third film in a row to open at No. 1 in North America, according to CNN.
“The opening isn’t as big as Us, but it’s still extremely impressive. The weekend figure is far above average for the genre,” movie consultant David A. Gross told Variety.
In the film, Kaluuya, Palmer and Steven Yeun star in a tale about uncovering video evidence of a UFO terrorizing the population of a rural mountain town. Peele says there’s much more than what meets the eye in this film.
“It’s about a lot of things,” Peele said. “The first notion that I latched onto when I was writing this movie was the idea of making a spectacle. I wanted to make a flying saucer movie because I just felt like if we can feel like we’re in the presence of something ‘other,’ if we feel like that’s real, then that’s an immersive experience worthy of going to the movies.”
The Associated Press reports that Nope opened in 3,785 theaters in the United States and Canada. It got off to a strong start over the weekend, earning $6.4 million from Thursday previews and $19.3 million by the end of Friday. Nope had a $68 million production budget, not accounting for marketing and promotion costs.
An estimated 68 percent of the audience was between ages 18 to 34, which is considered the age group most interested in the horror genre. Nope also attracted a diverse audience that was 25 percent white, 33 percent Black, 20 percent Hispanic and 8 percent Asian.