Box Office: ‘Split’ Skyrockets Shyamalan Back to the Top with $40M

"Split" (2017) - Box Office

‘Split’ Scores Biggest Debut 2017 So Far

After years of critical and box office disappointments, director M. Night Shyamalan is back in the good graces of both critics and audiences. His latest thriller, Split, debuted with an estimated $40.2 million over the weekend.

It’s been nearly seven years since Shyamalan has cracked the century club at the box office. His latest film to do it was the critically panned The Last Airbender with $131.8 million. Much of that can be attributed to the built-in fanbase of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Otherwise we’d have to go back to 2004’s The Village as his last major success. With a B+ grade on CinemaScore, we could be looking at a $100M run. Split will just need the 2.5x multiplier of The Visit to have a crack at it. It’s feasible and rewarding at the same time for Shyamalan, whose is seemingly back on track.

Vin Diesel certainly has success with the Fast and the Furious franchise. With xXx, the nearly 15-year wait has heralded to so-so reception. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage debuted behind Split for an opening around $20 million. That’s less than half of what the 2002 Vin Diesel film pulled in. Audiences seemed to enjoy the sequel, giving it an A- on CinemaScore. Critics were less enthused. Was it the 15-year wait or the result of being slated in January? We’ll see how this pans out in the coming weeks.

After two weeks on top, Hidden Figures dropped to third with $16.3 million. Closing in on $85 million, Hidden Figures should be able to top the century mark very soon. If it pulls in a Best Picture nomination tomorrow, expect a few more impressive holdovers. Both Hidden Figures and La La Land should play rather well into the next leg of awards season.

Down one spot from last weekend, Illumination’s Sing continues to make history. Earlier in the week, the animated film became the highest-grossing film ever not to debut in the top spot. That record was previously held by My Big Fat Greek Wedding, whose run still baffles box office pundits to this day. Belting out another $9.0 million, Sing is encroaching on the $250 million mark. More importantly, it’ll top Illumination’s first hit, Despicable Me.

Best Picture favorite, La La Land fell three spots this weekend, rounding out the top 5. The acclaimed musical grossed another $8.4 million, bringing its total to nearly $90 million. Losing its week-long IMAX engagements were a major factor in the hefty 42.5% drop. That shouldn’t stop it from being a frontrunner in the Oscars race. With nominations announced on Tuesday, we’ll see how much of a boost it’ll get.

Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.

#1 – Split (NR)
$40.2 million / $40.2 million total

#2 – xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (NR)
$20.0 million / $20.0 million total

#3 – Hidden Figures (1)
$16.3 million / $84.2 million total

#4 – Sing (3)
$9.0 million / $249.4 million total

#5 – La La Land (2)
$8.4 million / $89.7 million total

Opening Next Week: A Dog’s Purpose, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Gold

Source: Box Office Mojo

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