The 'Us' Ratings Will Have You Sprinting To The Nearest Theater

by Ani Bundel
Universal Pictures

Jordan Peele is unleashing his master plan upon the world. After the insane hit of Get Out in 2017 earned him an Oscar, and his producer credit on BlackKklansman earned him a second Best Picture nomination in two years, Peele is back with Us, a new horror film starring Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong'o. While horror is something of a niche genre in the movie houses, once again, Peele's skills in storytelling are overriding those preconceptions critics have about scary movies. The Us ratings are through the roof, suggesting that whatever Peele touches right now turns to gold.

Peele's ability to produce hits is on a hot streak right now. Though Get Out did not take home the Best Picture Oscar for 2017, critics swooned over the use of the horror genre to communicate the story of the black experience in America. The film landed a 98 percent fresh by the time all was said and done. Likewise, BlackKklansman, Spike Lee's first joint to land him an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, was partially produced by Peele. Once again, it didn't take home Best Picture, but a 96 percent fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes is nothing to sneeze at.

Us completes the hat trick. With 145 reviews in, the film stands at 97 percent fresh ahead of this weekend's opening.

The New York Times notes that once again, Peele is using horror to talk about social issues, though this one has a broader focus.

In "Us," Peele uses the metaphor of the divided self to explore what lies beneath contemporary America, its double consciousness, its identity, sins and terrors.

The Washington Post reviewer, Ann Hornaday, says the film gave her nightmares.

Full disclosure: "Us" gave me real-life nightmares, a testament to Peele's ability to illuminate the deepest and most dangerous shadow material of the American Dream.

Meanwhile, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone is one of many reviewers who singles out Nyong'o's performance. Though it's only March, the buzz for her to be considered for an Oscar come January is already high.

Nyong'o delivers one of the great performances in horror movie history, as Jordan Peele shows us a world tragically untethered to its own humanity, its empathy, its soul. If that's not a scarefest for its time, I don't know what is.

As for how Us is expected to do this weekend when it arrives in theaters, The Hollywood Reporter is bullish on the film's chances to wind up with terrifyingly large box office numbers, and scare the competition away to take the number one slot.

The Universal and Monkeypaw Productions release is tracking to take in anywhere from $38 million to $48 million after staging a buzzy premiere at SXSW. Some analysts believe the film could approach, or even cross, $50 million. The supernatural horror pic is tipped to wrest the domestic box office crown from Captain Marvel, which is heading into its third weekend with more than $800 million in global ticket sales.

Those numbers would best Get Out's opening weekend, which took in $33 million upon its debut.

Us premieres in theaters on Friday, March 22, 2019.