‘Get Out’: Jordan Peele’s Film on Race Relations Exceeds $100M at Box Office

The satirical horror film “embodies and expresses the African American experience with infrastructural racism,” NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said.

Director Jordan Peele / REUTERS

Jordan Peele, who is best known for his work on the TV series “Key & Peele,” has become the first Black director and writer to earn $100 million in ticket sales for a debut film.

According to studio estimates on Sunday, Peele’s satirical horror film, “Get Out,” made with a budget of $4 million, earned $21.1 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to $111 million. It made $30 million when it debuted on February 24.

The film has diverse audiences, attracting 39 percent Black, 36 percent white and 17 percent Latino moviegoers on opening weekend, according to the Associated Press.

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Diverse Film Casts Keep Hollywood Execs Making Money at Box Office, Says Report

“Less-diverse product underperforms in the marketplace, and yet it still dominates,” said Ana-Christina Ramón, co-author of the Hollywood Diversity report.

The success of “Get Out,” which has a diverse cast, brings to light the findings of UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies annual Hollywood Diversity Report, published last month. The report examined the 200 top-grossing theatrical film releases in 2015. Researchers found that relatively diverse films excelled at the box office between 2011 and 2015, regardless of genre.

Other findings include:

  • People of color bought 45 percent of all movie tickets sold in the United States in 2015.
  • Latinos accounted for 23 percent of ticket purchases alone.
  • Films with relatively diverse casts enjoyed the highest median global box office receipts and the highest median return on investment.

The Message of ‘Get Out’

Peele’s film centers on a Black man who discovers that his white girlfriend’s liberal, all-white hometown is guarding a sinister secret. “Get Out,” which uses a combination of comedy and horror, focuses on the state of race relations in the U.S.

“As we got into the initial years of the Obama administration, it became more clear than ever to me that race was a conversation people were increasingly uncomfortable having,” Peele said in an interview with The Verge.

“There was this ‘post-racial’ lie going on. So this movie, the purpose of it became to represent the Black experience, but also just [represent] race in the horror-movie genre and in the public conversation, in a way that I felt was taboo.”

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a column for The Hollywood Reporter published on Monday titled “Why ‘Get Out’ Is ‘Invasion of the Black Body Snatchers’ for the Trump Era.”

Abdul-Jabbar said the film “embodies and expresses the African American experience with infrastructural racism in a way that Blacks hope whites will better understand after seeing it.”

“Most important is the idea that when you live under constant physical threat of violence — whether from police, the legal system or racist groups — that in itself is a way to control people,” he said.

Abdul-Jabbar goes on to discuss the irony the film communicates: wealthy white liberals can also be prone to racism.

“What startles some viewers of ‘Get Out’ is that the biggest threat to the young Black protagonist isn’t the predictable redneck leftovers from ‘Deliverance,’ but the wealthy white liberals who probably donate to the ACLU and tearfully tell their friends to watch ‘Moonlight.’

“The charming Armitage family of the movie may seem liberal, but they could just as easily be Trump surrogates, a family of chipper Kellyanne Conways, whitesplaining away racism.”

At the Democratic National Convention in July Abdul-Jabbar gave a short speech, which criticized then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s call for a Muslim ban in the U.S.

Should Only African American Actors Star in Films About Racism in the U.S.?

Though there has been great critical acclaim for “Get Out,” actor Samuel L. Jackson has criticized the casting of British Black actors in U.S. films that deal with race relations. The star of the film, Daniel Kaluuya, is British.

Samuel said he is criticizing the Hollywood system in general, rather than the actors themselves.

“It was not a slam against them, but it was just a comment about how Hollywood works in an interesting sort of way sometimes,” Jackson told the AP.

Actor Daniel Kaluuya

Kaluuya responded to Jackson’s comments.

“Big up Samuel L. Jackson, because here’s a guy who has broken down doors,” he said in an interview with GQ published Monday. “He has done a lot so that we can do what we can do.

“Here’s the thing about that critique, though. I’m dark-skinned, bro. When I’m around Black people I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned.

“I’ve had to wrestle with that, with people going ‘You’re too Black.’ Then I come to America and they say, ‘You’re not Black enough.’ I go to Uganda, I can’t speak the language. In India, I’m Black. In the Black community, I’m dark-skinned. In America, I’m British.”

Kaluuya said that Blacks in the UK have also dealt with racism and segregation.

“I really respect African American people,” he said. “I just want to tell Black stories.

“This is the frustrating thing, bro — in order to prove that I can play this role, I have to open up about the trauma that I’ve experienced as a Black person. I have to show off my struggle so that people accept that I’m Black.

“No matter that every single room I go to I’m usually the darkest person there. You know what I’m saying? I kind of resent that mentality. I’m just an individual.”

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  • President Trump will do more for race relations in the long run in a year than former President Obama did in eight. Cleaning up the criminals in Chicago (and other major cities) and the criminals within the illegal migrant population will help set hundreds of thousands free of these barriers to employment and education. Why cannot a white male be a major focus in a movie about race relations? We are all Americans and until diversity publications like DiversityInc understand that, it will always, always be “us versus them” versus it is all about us. I do this nationwide as a white male and it has profound results and without blame or insults; only respect and listening to learn. Try it sometimes. It is amazing what a little harmony will do.

    • “A little harmony” which will occur only when we see it your way. No white male in this country can be a major focus and a movie about race relations, unless they have the chops of Lyndon Johnson. Good luck with finding that today.

      Regarding Chicago: How did those criminals get started up in Chicago? Who has been running the city government all along? Who sold them their firearms? Ammunition? Who manufactured all that weaponry? Who runs the prisons? Who profits from them? Who is employed there?

    • Be Careful John; perhaps Mr. Visconti will also inform you “Perhaps this site is not for you” if you request for more positive and not just “Political Correct” or anti-Big Government suggestions (especially if they come from someone who may be Conservative or Christian “Not a Republican or Democratic”).

      Unfortunately, it’s truly based upon upbringing (Race and Hatred are taught in homes, personal experiences, and oftentimes is a product of our surroundings), education (not just public education), history (not just personal history), behavior and attitudes.
      I grew up in a mixed neighborhood (Race, Ethnicity, and Culture), and we showed kindness and respect for one another (Always yes sir/maam), and WE got to KNOW one another and began to LEARN/SHARE from our experiences. Then, we all had a negative experience which strongly suggested there are differences (that one may be better or more privileged than another).

      We cannot control the Thoughts, Attitudes, Actions, Beliefs, and Behaviors (TAABBs) of others. The only thing We can control is our own Actions, Interactions, and Reactions (AIR). It would be helpful to share/show articles of what various companies, groups, communities, and individuals are doing to make a difference (which I have suggested). However, positive news apparently doesn’t sell.
      Harmony does still exist; and can be found at the individual level. Hollywood has had some good messages (like the Shack). Overall, what sells? Horror, Violence, Hatred, and Political/Personal Agendas…Which is truly sad.

      • Here’s what sold:

        1. “There’s many different ways, by the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private’… I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”

        2. “There is something on that birth certificate — maybe religion, maybe it says he’s a Muslim, I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want that. Or, he may not have one.”

        3. “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

        ——- DONALD J. TRUMP ———-

        And it’s Shaq, not Shack. Are you sure this is a good website for you? You seem to be a beat behind the band.

        • I believe AJ meant “The Shack”. I just saw it last night. It was a good movie with a positive message.

          • TY Valerie! Yes, I meant the movie. Unfortunately, the Saul Alinsky (rest edited out).

          • Alinsky has been dead for 45 years. Neither he or the other bug-a-boo of the alt-right, George Soros, are relevant. Tighten up your tin foil hat elsewhere.

          • I take that as a compliment “Tin hat” and “band” coming from a fellow Italian.
            (Where’s the Diversity of: Thought, belief, and Inclusion on this site???)

            Perhaps you could acknowledge the views of others rather than your own.

            Maybe this site should be exposed for it’s pro-global/big government, anti-Christian mindset.
            Change the name to: DiVisconti Inc; or Diversity STInc (Members only club) – For the Global Elite
            Appears to be another misnomer similar to:
            The ACA (Affordable Care Act = Taxpayer Driven; Social Medicine to break us); bottom line – Unaffordable.
            Planned Parenthood (More like Planned Genocide; Taxpayer funded convenience…See Molech).

            Since you seem to like to send out the banter; perhaps you may want to have a discussion offline…

            Truly disappointed with the apparent one-sided viewpoint. Share the good and the bad; hold a study or a survey of all Parties, Races, Religions, Genders, Cultures, and World Views (agree to disagree; and have some discussion; share facts and not just personal opinions)

          • Diversity of thought doesn’t include FOX-babble breitbart encrusted conspiracy theories. It’s that kind of crap that forced the president to apologize to the UK today. There are standards on this website.

            I hope the republicans are successful and replace the ACA with Trumpcare. The house will change majorities with the next election if the democrats are smart enough to retire Pelosi and Schumer.

            Everone in this country deserves healthcare.

            And how about YOU not marrying someone of the same gender if YOU think it’s wrong. Same for abortion. If you want to be proactive, help women bring children to full term, adopt a couple (I did, and I highly recommend it), volunteer to be a court-appointed special advocate for kids in foster care. Otherwise, butt out of other people’s business with the self-righteous blabber.

          • Oops, the president already walked back the apology. He must have a picture of Obama in Verizon coveralls, with his phone tapping equipment on his toolbelt.

    • Charity Dell

      JOHN–Trump cannot improve any kind of inter-ethnic relations, because his focus is now, and
      always has been:

      1. Self-glorification.
      2. Making money by ripping off those who worked for him, then countersuing people he
      owes–including that $5 million he owes the contractors for that Washington, DC hotel.

      He is $1.5 billion in debt, not only to the Russians but also many major banks.
      Trump needs to work on treating Barron right, then go from there.

  • The white liberals in this movie are identical to those in Northern so-called “blue” states like Wisconsin and Washington state. They’re really “purple” states: Blue mixed with REDnecKKKs. As a college- educated African American female, white liberals are SICKENING with their racial platitudes and patronizing.

    These rich liberal rednecKKKs depicted in Get Out are the same type who inhabit law firms and corporate AmeriKKKa. They LOVE to Blacks in their bedrooms, but don’t want Blacks in their boardrooms.

    O’Bama perpetuated the notion of a post-racial AmeriKKKa through his half-cocked, half-need idealogies. He’s the perfect example of the tragic Mulatto who have been given special privileges that he didn’t EARN through the “hard work” he espoused, but through his 50% white ancestry.

    As an African American, I totally understand Samuel L. Jackson’s critique. Foreign blacks succeed in AmeriKKKa from siphoning out jobs from African Americans’ suffering and achievements. Yet, these ingrates have the audacity to criticize, demoralize, and disdain African Americans worse than racist white folKKKs. They will NEVER understand OUR BLACK EXPERIENCE no matter how dark-skinned they are. Reading books about African American slavery, suffering, and successes is out of the question– they would rather Uncle Tom their way into the good graces of racist white folKKKs (like Colon Powell and Eric Holder) rather than understand pour unique black experience in AmeriKKKa. They are our COLOR, but NOT our KIND!

    The only exception was Marcus Harvey and racist AmeriKKKa railroaded, framed, and falsely imprisoned him. The white racist GAY man, J.Edgar Hoover caused the unlawful surveillance, jailing, and/or assassinations of three great Black men: Marcus, Martin, and Malcolm.

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