Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Split’ Is M. Night Shyamalan’s Biggest Opener in Years
Is it safe to say that M. Night Shyamalan is back? He got his foot in the door a few years ago when The Visit opened to $25 million and went on to make $65 million against a budget of only $5 million, but with the release of Split, he’s officially sitting on the couch, eating your chips and drinking your beer. The same could not be said for xXx: Return of Xander Cage, which opened to more lackluster numbers.
|2||xXx: Return of Xander Cage||$20,000,000||$5,478||$20,000,000|
|3||Hidden Figures||$16,250,000 (-22.1)||$4,757||$84,238,000|
|5||La La Land||$8,350,000 (-42.5)||$4,477||$89,680,000|
|6||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||$7,036,000 (-47.8)||$2,703||$512,201,000|
|7||Monster Trucks||$7,500,000 (-36.1)||$2,244||$22,612,000|
|8||Patriots Day||$6,000,000 (-48.3)||$1,923||$23,639,000|
With an opening weekend of $40 million, Split is Shyamalan’s biggest opener since 2010’s The Last Airbender, but with one significant difference: it only cost a fraction of that critically derided blockbuster’s budget. Even if it plummets next weekend — certainly a possibility with any genre movie — it’s already made its money back at this point. The low-budget horror movie is a good look for Shyamalan; expect him to keep at it, especially if the openings continue to exceed expectations and the reviews continue to be solid.
While we’re on the subject of early ’00s icons attempting a comeback, xXx: Return of Xander Cage opened with a disappointing $20 million, a lackluster start for a movie that cost $85 million and stars a guy at the forefront of another major action franchise. If anything, this is proof that Vin Diesel isn’t a movie star, just a guy who stars in popular movies. This isn’t a disastrous start yet — after all, international numbers may help this one break even or even make money when all is said and done — but don’t expect any other xXx movies in the next couple of years.
The weekend’s third release, The Founder, barely even registered, grossing only $3 million in ninth place. Considering that this movie was at one point being presented as a serious Oscar contender, this is a pretty dismal turn of events for a movie that is, by most accounts, pretty good.
For a more uplifting story, you need to look to third place and Hidden Figures, which dropped only 22% and made $16 million, bringing its current total to $84 million. With Oscar nominations right around the corner, this one should only gain momentum over the next month and become one of the biggest surprise hits of the past year.
Speaking of big hits, Sing made $9 million in fourth place, bringing its current total to $249 million. $300 million is still very likely, but this is a bigger drop than expected and it’s going to be an endurance test from this point. Meanwhile, La La Land made $8 million in fifth place for a total of $89 million. $100 million should happen within a week or so, especially since the Oscar nods it has coming will renew all that buzz.
And that brings us to the biggest hit of them all. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made $7 million over the weekend, officially bringing it past the $500 million mark. With $512 million at the domestic box office, it is the biggest movie released in North America in 2016 and has its eyes on the international prize as well.