When Trump became President, some speculated that Hollywood's so-called "liberal elite" becoming more politically vocal would impact the sort of movies available at the box office. "Nobody cares what Captain America thinks about politics! Close your mouth!" — those comments were typical of the internet's most antagonized.
But if anything, it seems the election of a President whose policies are dividing society has created a situation in which Americans are energized by the injection of politics into their movie-going diets, as demonstrated this week by the monopoly of the very timely race-themed horror flick Get Out at the box office.
#GetOut was written and directed by Jordan Peele of the Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele. Relatively speaking, not a lot of people watch that show — so how come Peele's directorial debut, a horror movie equal parts funny and disturbing, is number one this week by such a margin?
While it's not fair to read Get Out as a reaction to Trump-era politics — it was actually written eight years before his election, when Hillary and Obama were fighting it out for the Democratic nomination — Peele's movie is a perfect allegory for these turbulent times. The idea of a wealthy white elite harboring secret prejudices against persons of color resonates deeply in the era of Trump's wall and the Middle Eastern travel ban, meaning Get Out's fiercely provocative plot cuts even deeper.
That Peele found a way to filter that through a hugely entertaining horror movie is kind of genius, and a clear statement that the current decade could be the first since the '70s to overtly embrace politics on the big screen. Let's break down the box office numbers for Get Out and its closest competition this week.
Get Out made a brilliant $30.5m across the three-day weekend in the US, not far behind the $40m debut of M. Night Shyamalan's Split. Both movies come from Blumhouse and both were made on super-low budgets (just $4.5m for Get Out), suggesting 2017 could be the best year for horror in a very long time.
Get Out has a staggered international release beginning with the UK March 17.
'LEGO Batman', 'Fifty Shades Darker'
LEGO Batman is holding superbly well in second place this week, with $19m for a running total of $133m stateside. Globally, it's now at $226m.
Fifty Shades Darker continues to seduce a largely female audience, taking $7.7m in fifth this weekend for a total of $104m stateside. Globally, the middle film in the Grey trilogy is now on an impressive $328m and counting.
Expect the James Foley-directed movie to start dropping off faster as the big Oscars movies enjoy a rebound in the week ahead.
'La La Land', 'Lion', 'Hidden Figures'
#LaLaLand may not have won Best Picture at last night's highly eventful #Oscars ceremony (despite Faye Dunaway's best efforts), but it continued to dance its way to global domination this week by adding $4.6m in the US, for an enormous global total of $369m. Will it get a sympathy bounce this week? Probably.
#Lion, which had two acting nominations but didn't win anything last night, made another $3.8m and now has $88.7m in the bank, while #HiddenFigures banked a strong $5.9m in week 10 for a global total of $183m. Not bad for a movie about three mathematicians.
'John Wick 2', 'Split', 'Resident Evil'
In total, the first John Wick movie made $89m. Already, sequel Chapter 2 has taken $125m around the world, including another $9m this weekend stateside. That threequel will be happening faster than you can say "dead wife, cute dog."
#Split continues to add to its coffers with a brilliant $221m banked, but the weekend's big genre success story internationally is Resident Evil: The Final Chapter's massive opening in Russia.
The so-called last movie in the series, which probably won't be the last movie in the series for very long, just made $94.3m across three days in Russia. Are they insane? Perhaps, but The Final Chapter now has $239m globally and will likely pass the $296m of Afterlife in March. Can you resurrect a franchise before it's even dead and buried?
And finally, last night's shock (eventual) Best Picture winner, #Moonlight from director Barry Jenkins, made $766k this weekend for a global total of $22.3m. Expect that figure to absolutely skyrocket over the next seven days as the good people of the US make their annual effort to see a movie critics actually enjoyed. And they should — Moonlight is both important and amazing.
All credit for the brilliant header art goes to Dan Simmonds.
Will you be seeing Logan, Get Out or an Oscar winner next weekend?