'Us' smashes box office records in opening weekend, making $71.1 million

'Us' smashes box office records in opening weekend, making $71.1 million

If you keep on catching your reflection in the mirror and obsessing about your doppelgänger who's trapped beneath the surface, waiting for their chance to kill you, you're not alone.

Jordan Peele's new horror Us smashed at the box office last weekend, pulling in an impressive $71.1 million, nearly double the figure analysts' projected of $35 million to $45 million. The final three-day total released on Monday was also higher than the $70.3 originally estimated by the studio on Sunday.

The result breaks opening records for an original horror movie and an original R-rated film, and marks the best start for a live-action original film since Avatar opened with $77 million in 2009. Not a bad result, huh?

Us scene Credit: Universal Pictures/Us

Speaking of the film's opening weekend success Jim Orr, President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution for Universal Pictures said: "It's amazing. The film absolutely blew by the most robust of forecasts and I think that's all to do with the great appeal of Jordan Peele.

"Put simply, Jordan Peele is a genius. He’s managed to tap into something that the domestic box office can’t get enough of. People can’t wait to see what he does next."

In case you'd missed the trailer, the psychological thriller sees Lupita Nyong'o star as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), and their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) for an idyllic summer getaway.

Haunted by an unresolved trauma from her past and shaken by a string of eerie coincidences, the mother experiences growing paranoia and becomes increasingly certain that something bad is going to happen to her family.

After spending a tense beach day with their friends, the Tylers (Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon and Noelle Sheldon), Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home. Upon nightfall, the family discover the silhouette of four figures holding hands as they stand in the driveway: doppelgängers of themselves.

Jordan Peele, the horror movie's writer and director, recently discussed the terrifying idea of doppelgängers, claiming they represent "everything that we don't face in ourselves".

"It starts with the fear that I can't explain," he said in an interview. "This idea that if I saw myself on the street, you immediately know that one of you might go. There's only room for one. And on top of that, if you see yourself, and yourself smiles back at you, you know the other one has the upper hand."

Us scene Credit: Universal Pictures/Us

Continuing to discuss why looking into a mirror can be an alarming experience, he said: "It makes you question your identity. You know, the one thing we can count on in our own consciousness is that it's ours, and this place in the universe is ours — the one thing that we can know for certain. And when that is put into question, it's just this existential crisis.

"Now, throughout history the doppelganger mythology exists. And what I think it represents is this — is everything that we don't face in ourselves. It is a representation of the guilt, the trauma, the fear, the hatred that might be buried underneath layers of pleasantry. All that stuff that we don't deal with: When it comes out, it'll come out in crazy ways."

Us scene Credit: Universal Pictures/Us

In addition, lead actress Lupita Nyong'o recently confessed that the movie took an "emotional toll" on her, claiming she reached "breaking point".

"This movie stretched me, it bent me, it cost me a whole lot," she told the Radio 1Xtra breakfast show. "It was technically very challenging. We're playing against ourselves. The way in which things had to play out was so specific. It took its emotional toll on me. I definitely had a moment of rupture while making this movie."

So, are you brave enough to join the masses and experience Jordan Peele's new hit? Suffice to say, you won't be judged if you take a pillow to hide behind.