Jordan Peele is owning the movie industry and making history, right before our eyes. Peele’s latest film, “Us,” sold an estimated $70.3 million in tickets over the weekend, which more than doubled the number of opening-weekend ticket sales for his smash hit “Get Out.” $70.3 million also earns Peele the distinction of having the best opening ever for an original horror title. It’s a new day in Hollywood and Jordan Peele is making us take notice.
Peele is not only reinforcing the notion that Black folks can create great films but more importantly, becoming a power player in the industry. Peele is creating content from a Black perspective, using his art to challenge racism and white supremacy. With this latest film, Peele is also continuing to create opportunities for Black entertainers. Whether you love the film or not, that is something that we can all celebrate. Hollywood generates a lot of cash and Black folks, increasingly, are demanding their share.
In addition to writing and directing the film, Peele’s company, Monkeypaw Productions, produced it. “Us” features a cast full of melanin. The movie centers on a Black family — still a rarity in Hollywood — and specifically mother, played by Lupita Nyong’o. Winston Duke stars opposite of Nyong’o; you might recognize Duke from his role in “Black Panther.” All that melanin on screen was made possible because of control on the production end — never forget that.
With all of Peele’s success it’s easy to forget that this is, still, only his second film. Peele is only getting started. Undoubtedly, there are more stories to tell. As the world continues to move and Black people continue to overcome obstacles, there will be new social critiques. It is also exciting to think of the the ways in which Peele’s production company will continue to empower other Black people in the industry. Let’s applaud Peele’s success and keep our eyes on the next phase of the movement — financing our own films. Next level stuff.