M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Split’ Dominates U.S. Box Office With $40.2 Million

Split M. Night Shyamalan
Courtesy of Universal

M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” has turned into a horror hit with a surprisingly strong $40.2 million in its opening weekend at 3,038 North American locations.

“Split,” starring James McAvoy as a man with 24 different personalities, performed far above recent expectations for Universal and Blumhouse. It easily topped the 2015 launch of Shyamalan’s found-footage horror movie “The Visit,” which scored an opening weekend of $25.4 million.

“Having M. Night Shyamalan’s name on the title means a lot, because his fan base is so devoted,” noted Universal’s domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou. “He’s the master of the plot twist.”

Carpou noted that “Split” showed plenty of drawing power in all demographics with the 52% of the audience being female and 52% under 25 and should perform well in coming weeks. “As a psychological thriller, this should have a lot of playability,” he added.

“Split” doubled Vin Diesel’s launch of “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” which is heading for a second-place finish for Paramount with $20 million at 3,651 sites — in line with recent forecasts. Fox’s historical drama “Hidden Figures” maintained its impressive performance in third with $16.3 million at 3,416 theaters for a domestic total of $84.2 million.

Michael Keaton’s biopic “The Founder” showed little traction for the Weinstein Company with a modest $3.8 million weekend at 1,115 locations.

Shyamalan produced and directed “Split” from his own script in which McAvoy’s multiple characters capture three young women and hold them hostage. The movie, which costs under $10 million, generated the fourth-highest opening for a Shyamalan title following “Signs” with $60 million, “The Village” with $50.7 million, and “The Last Airbender” with $40.3 million.

“Split” carries a 76% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with McAvoy’s performance receiving strong reviews. Shyamalan is self-financing the project and re-teamed with horror specialist Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions after collaborating on “The Visit,” which grossed nearly $100 million worldwide on a $5 million budget.

“Xander Cage” stars Diesel as a skilled government operative character who debuted in the 2002 movie “xXx.” The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Ruby Rose, Kris Wu, Tony Jaa and Nina Dobrev.

D.J. Caruso directs from a script by F. Scott Frazier, which centers on Diesel’s Xander Cage coming out of self-imposed exile in a race to recover a seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box.

“Xander Cage” has an $85 million budget with backing from Chinese companies Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group, which limits Paramount’s exposure to about 50%. Paramount and the two companies announced a three-year $1 billion co-financing deal on Thursday.

Paramount distribution chief Megan Colligan that the multi-national and multi-ethnic cast proved to be a major plus for the pic, which the audience 25% Hispanic, 17% African-American and 14% Asian-American.

“Hidden Figures,” which won the first two weekends of 2017, held well with a 22% decline during the three days. The drama may be a major beneficiary from Tuesday’s Academy Awards nominations.

Illumination-Universal’s fifth weekend of “Sing” led the rest of the pack in fourth with $9 million at 3,193 locations for a 33-day take of $249.4 million. Lionsgate’s awards contender “La La Land” finished a close fifth with $8.4 million at 1,865 sites to push its total to nearly $90 million.

Disney-Lucasfilm’s sixth weekend of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and Paramount’s second weekend of “Monster Trucks” were in a tie for sixth place with $7 million each. “Rogue One” has now hit $512 million at the domestic box office (seventh on the all-time list) and has hit $1 billion worldwide.

Paramount’s parent Viacom has already taken a $100 million writedown on “Monster Trucks,” which declined 36% from its inauspicious opening weekend. The family adventure, which carries a $120 million price tag, has grossed $22.6 million domestically in its first 10 days.

Lionsgate-CBS Films “Patriots Day” finished in eighth with $6 million in its second weekend in wide release at 3,120 sites, lifting the Mark Wahlberg drama to a $23.6 million total. TWC’s “The Founder” followed in ninth with $3.8 million at 1,115 locations with President David Glasser noting that the studio is seeing strong word of mouth and is eyeing the possibility that Michael Keaton could receive an Academy Awards nomination on Tuesday.

“We have hopes that with a nomination for Michael on Tuesday, it will further the audience for the movie,” he added.

Two titles in their second weekends were battling for the 10th spot with Open Road’s “Sleepless” with $3.7 million at 1,803 sites edging STX’s “The Bye Bye Man” with $3.6 million at 2,220. “Sleepless” declined 56% while “The Bye Bye Man” plunged 74% in face of the massive “Split” opening.

Paramount’s doubling of the run of Martin Scorsese’s religious drama “Silence” generated little traction with $1.2 million at 1,580 sites. “Silence” has taken in a mild $5.2 million in a month.

BH Tilt’s opening of faith-based “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” also was quiet with $1.4 million at 887 locations.



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  1. zurzesir says:

    like Gary replied I am dazzled that a mother can get paid $4160 in a few weeks on the
    computer . Read Full Report…………. _+_+……………http://tinyurl.com/1weeksjob

  2. harry georgatos says:

    Scorsese’s selfish self-indulgent wank fest that is SILENCE is the biggest failure of his career. Without Di Caprio this selfish filmmaker becomes an expectant box office failure. Studio heads must clamp down on selfish passion films by indulgent selfish directors who want to make us better human beings. I want well crafted sophisticated entertainment instead of someone like Scorsese with THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, KUNDUN and now SILENCE where the director wants to be considered thoughtful! Screw that! Give me high quality genre entertainment then some type of slowly paced realigious wank-fest. Mel Gibson knows how to make these type of films. Scorsese is the most spoiled filmmaker who gets these highly problematic films playing in empty cinemas. Studio heads who indulge filmmakers such as Scorsese’s with these high-minded films should be removed from their positions of power. When I think of filmmakers such as Scorsese and the last few films of Coppola the first thought that goes through my mind is “the horror, the horror”

    • Robert J O'Dell says:

      Silence is a true example of great cinema. You haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

      • harry georgatos says:

        That’s why this indulgent film is playing to empty cinemas. If you believe so much in this film of artistic integrity put your own money in the making of such films! I’ll bet you will have second thoughts. It’s okay when studios invest in such problematic films but when it’s your money it’s a different story.

  3. I agree with the comment below, McAvoy is an amazing actor. First time I ever saw him was in X-Men First Class and he definitely was amazing. Looking forward to see him do other great things.

  4. Matt says:

    Come on give McAvoy some of the credit here!

    • Spider says:

      My thoughts, exactly! He’s a good actor and a lot of people know him as young Professor Charles Xavier from the new, “X-Men” flicks. I’d say he’s the one with the following!

  5. Bill B. says:

    It sounds pretty good & McAvoy is a very good actor in the right roles. The problem with most of Shyamalan’s movies is that most all rely on one gimmick. When that gimmick works (The Sixth Sense), he’s got a hit. When it doesn’t (far too many to mention), he fails. I’m surprised at the $100 mill for The Visit, a prime example of a one gimmick movie. I guess this is another that was a hit, but I really didn’t appreciate sitting for 90 minutes to learn one not very interesting and eventually very predictable fact. I did that with The Village & swore I’d never let him do that to me again. I was wrong.

  6. Minha Série says:

    Correction: It’s not “Sing”, it’s “Split” in this sentence (3rd paragraph)

    “Sing” doubled Vin Diesel’s launch of “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,”


  7. Lucky says:

    Wow, good for him, always great to hear a comeback story. I quite enjoyed The Visit and will definitely be checking out Split asap. Seems to be one of those buzzy flics you wanna get out in front of before it’s spoiled.

  8. Rudy Mario says:

    What the….
    I thought this shamilan guy was dead. The movie cost just $10M ! And it is making $40 M in just 3 days in one market! Talk about ROI…

  9. Manthony says:

    With the success of “Split” you can now get ready for a boat load of “Sybil” flavored reboots.
    You can also now expect to see many more of these Billion Dollar deals between Chinese conglomerates and American media companies because they are ideal mechanisms for laundering tons of money.

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