No spoilers: Jordan Peele's 'NOPE'

New York (CNN Business)“Nope,” Jordan Peele’s third movie, opened to an estimated $44 million this weekend in North America, according to Universal Pictures.

The science-fiction film, which stars Daniel Kaluuya as a Hollywood horse wrangler dealing with some extra-terrestrial problems, was expected to make around $50 million this weekend, according to initial projections.
It is Peele’s third film in a row to open at No. 1 at the North American box office and the biggest domestic opening for an original script since 2019’s “Us,” Peele’s last film, according to the studio.

    Despite its plot being shrouded in mystery, “Nope” was one of the most anticipated movies of the year, so its opening is bit lackluster. However, it is still solid considering that the film is rated R, isn’t tied to a blockbuster brand or sequel and had a relatively modest production budget of $68 million.

      The opening for “Nope” tops Peele’s first film, “Get Out,” which made $33 million in 2017, but falls short of “Us,” which blew past expectations three years ago, opening to roughly $70 million — more than tripling its $20 million production budget in a single weekend. Both films eventually made $255 million worldwide.


      This isn’t a spectacular opening the way “Us” was, but the film could have legs considering it has good reviews with a 83% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
      “When it comes to Jordan Peele, it’s not so much about the opening weekend as much as it’s about building that word of mouth,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore (SCOR), told CNN Business. “His movies are in it for the long haul.”

        Dergarabedian also noted that there’s really no competition in the weeks to come, which may be good news for ticket sales going forward.
        Why “Nope” didn’t make more could be due to myriad reasons. For starters, Peele’s films — while entertaining — are reliably cerebral. That could leave some audiences perplexed rather than pleased, which explains the film’s “B” CinemaScore.

          Also, the marketing around “Nope” was deeply cryptic and that may have led to more people being wary of diving in this weekend. This is especially the case right now as inflation is soaring and audiences are being careful with how they spend their money.
          All in all, the opening of “Nope” was in the range of projections and will go down as another win for Peele and Universal.
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