‘Nope’ Devours $44 Million Box Office Opening

Universal horror film is the highest opening weekend for an original film since Jordan Peele’s “Us”


Universal/Monkeypaw’s “Nope” is opening to a $44 million launch at the box office this weekend, becoming Jordan Peele’s third No. 1 release in his filmmaking career.

While on the low end of pre-release projections, “Nope” has earned the highest opening weekend for a film with an original screenplay since Peele’s last film, “Us,” which earned a $71 million launch in April 2019. Earning praise from critics for its incisive commentary on Hollywood’s exploitation of people of color and the human obsession with spectacle, “Nope” has posted a higher opening than Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which opened to $41 million in July 2019.

With a $68 million budget and overseas release still to come in August, “Nope” should be another box office success for Universal and Monkeypaw’s first-look partnership. But it likely won’t bring as much profit as Peele’s acclaimed $4.5 million debut “Get Out” or the $20 million “Us.”

With a B on CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 83% critics and 71% audience, “Nope” will likely see weekend drops of around 50% unless a threadbare August release slate allows it to stand out among casual moviegoers open to see anything in theaters. The film should be able to easily top $100 million domestic but will face an uphill road to match the $176 million domestic runs of “Get Out” and “Us.”

Elsewhere on the charts, Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Love and Thunder” is set to pass $600 million worldwide on Monday, having added $22 million domestic and $31.8 million internationally in its third weekend in theaters. With $276 million grossed domestically, “Love and Thunder” remains ahead of the pace set by “Thor: Ragnarok” in 2017 with $247 million after three weekends.

Universal/Illumination’s “Minions; The Rise of Gru” is in third with $17.7 million in its fourth weekend, putting it on the verge of crossing $300 million domestic with totals of $297.8 million in North America and $640 million worldwide. Combined with holdovers “The Black Phone” and “Jurassic World: Dominion,” Universal has four films in the top 10 chart this weekend.

In fourth is Sony/3000 Film’s “Where the Crawdads Sing,” which is holding well among female audiences with $10.3 million for a 40% drop from its $17.2 million opening. The $24 million film now has a domestic total of $38.3 million.

Completing the Top 5 is Paramount/Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” which added another $10 million in its ninth weekend to bring its domestic total to $635 million and its global total to $1.28 billion, passing the global total of “Frozen” to take the No. 17 spot on the all-time global charts. On the domestic list, “Maverick” should pass the $653 million of “Jurassic World” to take the No. 8 spot in North America in the coming week.