Can ‘Get Out’ Scare ‘Lego Batman’ Off the Top Box Office Spot?

With Jordan Peele in the director’s chair and a viral trailer generating buzz, the Blumhouse horror could exceed box office expectations this weekend

With a trailer that has over 30 million views and unanimous praise from early reviews, “Get Out” could be a big horror hit for Universal Pictures as it debuts this Friday. Some analysts believe it even has a chance to knock “The Lego Batman Movie” off the top box office spot.

Universal has put out a conservative estimate for Jordan Peele’s $4.5 million directorial debut, expecting a weekend return in the high teens as it opens in 2,773 locations. But independent trackers tell TheWrap that “Get Out” could make as much as $24 million. That would be enough for the film to at least take the No. 2 spot from “Fifty Shades Darker,” which made $24 million in its its second weekend in theaters.

“Lego Batman,” meanwhile, held on to the top spot at the domestic box office last weekend with a three-day total of $32.6 million from 4,088 screens. Analysts tell TheWrap that “Get Out” is very likely to beat “Lego Batman” on Friday, but to win the weekend it will need at least a 20 percent drop-off from “Lego Batman” combined with strong word of mouth from early moviegoers.

“A lot of people are going to be talking about this film,” comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian said. “It will be a conversation piece, and if enough people start talking about ‘Get Out’ on social media it could create a groundswell that could boost it for a bigger-than-expected Saturday.”

If “Get Out” wins the weekend, it would be the second big victory of 2017 for Blumhouse Productions, which saw its last film, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split,” make $40 million in its opening weekend en route to a worldwide cume of $194.5 million.

“Get Out” hopes to enjoy the same success with a culturally-relevant parable about an African-American man (Daniel Kaluuya) who discovers that the parents of his upper-class white girlfriend (Allison Williams) are part of a sinister group in their hometown that has led to the mysterious disappearances of several black men.

Peele is directing and writing the movie, as well as producing with Jason Blum, Sean McKittrick and Edward H. Hamm, Jr. The film also stars Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Lil Rel Howery and Keith Stanfield.

“Get Out” should have little competition from other new releases, which include Open Road Films’ “Collide” and Lionsgate’s “Rock Dog.” “Collide” is expected by trackers to make $5 million this weekend against a $29.5 million budget from approximately 2,000 locations. The action film stars Nicholas Hoult as an American backpacker who ends up getting involved with drug dealers in Germany. Soon, he finds himself in danger as his employers hunt him down on the famous speed limit-free roads of the Autobahn.

Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley also star in the film. It is directed and written by Eran Creevy and produced by Joel Silver, Ben Pugh, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Rory Aitken and Daniel Hetzer. It has made $2.5 million from nine overseas markets, including China.

“Rock Dog” set a record for the most expensive animated film backed by a Chinese studio with a budget of $60 million. Released by Huayi Brothers, the film was an overseas bomb, making only $7.2 million in China and South Korea. Trackers expect it to make another $7 million here from an estimated 2,050 screens.

Based on a graphic novel by Zheng Jun. It stars Luke Wilson as a Tibetan Mastiff who leaves behind his life with a family of guard dogs to find stardom as a rock musician in the big city. Directed by Ash Brannon, the film also stars Lewis Black, J.K. Simmons, and Eddie Izzard. Jun is producing the film with Amber Wang, David B. Miller, Rob Feng and Joyce Lou.