Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope’ wins box office over ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

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“Nope,” the latest freaky film directed by Jordan Peele, scared up $44 million in its opening weekend to win the North American box office.

The victory ended a two-week streak for Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which added $22.1 million during its third weekend in theaters.

“Nope,” which Peele also wrote and produced, stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as Hollywood horse trainers who try to capture definitive proof of aliens as a mysterious terror wreaks havoc in the sky.

The science fiction horror film is the third movie to be written and directed by Peele, who previously earned acclaim for 2017′s “Get Out” and 2019′s “Us.”

The $44 million debut for “Nope” beat the $33 million opening by “Get Out,” which starred Kaluuya as a Black man whose first meeting of his white girlfriend’s family comes with an unsettling revelation.

“Us,” a Lupita Nyong’o-led thriller about a family who meets bloodthirsty lookalikes, made $71 million during its first weekend in theaters.

“Get Out” and “Us” both made $255 million worldwide. With a budget of about $68 million, “Nope” is Peele’s most expensive film.

The latest weekend haul for “Thor: Love and Thunder” boosted the superhero sequel’s domestic earnings to $276 million. It’s made $598 million worldwide.

“Love and Thunder” features the return of Natalie Portman in her first major Marvel role in nearly a decade. Her character, Jane Foster, becomes the superhero The Mighty Thor, and teams up with Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie in a quest to defeat Christian Bale’s villainous Gorr the God Butcher.

Finishing third over the weekend was the animated origin story “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” which made $17.7 million between Friday and Sunday. The Steve Carell-led family flick has made $297 million in North America and $640 million worldwide since its July 1 release.

The mystery thriller “Where the Crawdads Sing” added $10.3 million in its second weekend in theaters to come in fourth, while “Top Gun: Maverick” made another $10 million to finish fifth.

“Top: Gun Maverick” is the highest-grossing movie of 2022, making $635 million in North America and more than $1.2 billion globally.

This Friday features the theatrical release of the animated “DC League of Super-Pets,” which features Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Vanessa Bayer and Kate McKinnon voicing super-powered animals.

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