Highest Box office Receipts for an Original Film since Jordan Peele’s Last Film


“No” received the highest opening weekend figures in the country for an original film since 2019’s “We,” which was also directed by Jordan Peele. Previously, Peel was best known as a comedian, especially in partnership with Keegan-Michael Key in their comedy series “Key and Peel”. However, that reputation changed dramatically when, in 2017, Peel released his directorial debut, Away, a horror film that struck a chord with a combination of intense horror, satirical comedy and social commentary. He continued this project with “Us”, which told about a vacationing family who meets their evil doppelgangers, and the stars of “Black Panther” Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke reunited.

While Peele has meanwhile written and produced projects, including the Twilight Zone reboot and 2021’s Candyman, he didn’t direct any work until “No,” which was released in theaters on July 22. The film is about siblings O.J. (Daniel Kaluuya) and Em Heywood (Keke Palmer) inheriting their father’s ranch after his mysterious death. Although they disagree on how to handle this windfall, they are interrupted by further mysterious occurrences that seem to indicate that they may just be in the midst of an alien invasion. The cast of the film also includes Michael Wincott, Keith David, Donna Mills, Barbie Ferreira, Oz Perkins and Oscar nominee Steven Yun.

According to Variety, “No” grossed $44 million at the box office in its first weekend, making it No. 1. Unfortunately, this result was slightly lower than the expected gross profit of about $50. However, this still makes the film the biggest discovery for an original non-intellectual property film since Us, which opened at $71 million.

Not only that No has the highest start for an original film in quite some time, but is also one of the three original films that took first place at the box office on the first weekend in 2022. The other two are Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s adventure romcom “The Lost City,” which opened for $30.5 million, and the musical biopic “Elvis” starring Baz Luhrmann, which grossed $31.2 million. Even the classification of Elvis as the original is controversial, given that it is based on the life of one of the most famous rockers of all time.

It seems that part of the reason Peele is able to make successful original films is because he himself has become something of a brand, rather than the source material for films. Let’s hope that the success of “No”, like all his previous films, will encourage producers to trust other original projects. This could allow other visionaries like Peel to mine gold and inject more fresh ideas into the Hollywood sphere.


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