Just days after signing a lucrative first-look deal with Universal Pictures, Jordan Peele has become the first African-American writer-director to gross $200 million worldwide with his debut film, “Get Out.”
Released back in late February, “Get Out” crossed the milestone on Sunday with $173.8 million of its $204.3 million worldwide gross coming from domestic screens. The film is approximately $3 million away from passing the record for highest grossing debut for a black director, which was set by Clark Johnson’s “S.W.A.T.” in 2003. Unlike “Get Out,” “S.W.A.T.” had different directing and writing credits, with David Ayer and David McKenna penning the script.
Opening on the same weekend that the Academy Awards aired, “Get Out” beat the usual lull that Oscar weekend brings to make $30 million, a 25 percent boost from what box office trackers were expecting. The big opening came on a wave of acclaim from critics and audiences alike, praising the film for exploring themes of racial conflict and microaggression, while succeeding as a chilling horror film.
The praise made “Get Out” a must-see for many moviegoers, allowing the film to buck the trend of big opening and weak holdovers that horror movies tend to follow. The end result was a big success for Universal and Blumhouse Pictures, setting a new studio record for Jason Blum’s production banner despite sporting a budget of just $4.5 million.
The success of the film has resulted in Peele signing a two-year first-look deal with Universal this past week, giving the studio rights to Peele’s next project that, like “Get Out,” he will write, direct and produce through his Monkeypaw Productions banner. Also like “Get Out,” Peele’s untitled project will be a thriller laced with topical social themes, though it will be given a much larger budget. Peele will also work on more microbudget projects with Blumhouse as part of the deal.