Jordan Peele's UFO thriller "Nope" debuted at $44 million in ticket sales in its opening weekend and now sits atop the North American charts, Universal Pictures announced Sunday.
"Nope" opened in 3,785 theaters in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend. The film started off strong Thursday with $6.4 million from previews that day. At the conclusion of Friday's opening night, the movie had grossed $19.3 million.
"Jordan Peele crafted an incredible film," Universal president of domestic distribution Jim Orr said. "And it is absolutely something that should be seen on the big screen."
With a reported $68 million in production budget, excluding the cost of production and marketing, the film is the most expensive Peele has made thus far. Peele's 2019 movie "Us" cost around $20 million to make and his 2017 directorial debut for "Get Out" was produced for just $4.5 million. Both films brought in more than $255 million globally.
The new film features stars Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun, and honors past UFO films, including "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" from 1977 and "Signs" from 2002.
"Nope" was big in IMAX for the film's opening weekend, accounting for about $5.2 million in earnings.
"It's incredibly gratifying to see a visionary like Jordan Peele, who represents a new generation of filmmakers, use our technology in pioneering ways and create an experience meant to be seen in IMAX," IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond said.
The movie will hit international theaters on August 12.
"Nope" beat out "Thor: Love and Thunder" for the weekend's top spot in earnings. The newest "Thor" movie added $22.1 million in its third weekend. Its global total has now surpassed $598 million.
"Minions: The Rise of Gru," in its fourth weekend, came in third place with $17.7 million, bringing the global total for the animated film to $640.3 million.
"Where the Crawdads Sing" finished in fourth in its second weekend, adding an estimated $10.3 million from 3,650 locations, increasing its domestic gross up to $38.3 million.
And Paramount’s summer hit "Top Gun: Maverick" was fifth in its ninth weekend. The film added $10 million over the weekend. The movie became the ninth-biggest domestic release of all time earlier this week when it surpassed "The Avengers." The total for "Top Gun: Maverick" is currently at $635.6 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.