‘Split’ Psychs Out ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage,’ Heads to $34 Million Debut

M. Night Shyamalan movie took in a whopping $14.6 million on Friday, twice as much as Vin Diesel’s action sequel

Last Updated: January 21, 2017 @ 9:05 AM

Universal’s M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Split” took in $14.6 million at the Friday box office, twice as much as “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” earned that day.

Heading into the weekend, experts had thought “Split” and Vin Diesel’s “xXx” would battle it out for No. 1, with both projected to earn in the high-teens to low-$20 million range. But the M. Night Shyamalan film is overperforming and is now looking at a weekend gross of $34 million.

“Split” stars James McAvoy as a kidnapper with multiple personalities and was produced by Blumhouse for a reported budget of under $10 million. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest on Sept. 26 of last year. “Split” is being critically acclaimed by critics — the film currently has a score of 76 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a CinemaScore of B+.

“xXx,” which earned an estimated $7 million on Friday, was produced for a bigger budget of $85 million, in line with the budget of of “xXx: State of the Union,” the sequel to 2002’s original “xXx” film. “Return of Xander Cage” sees Diesel reprising his role as the extreme athlete turned government operative.

The film also stars Donnie Yen, Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette and Samuel L. Jackson and was directed by D. J. Caruso. It opened in around 3,600 locations (including IMAX and 3D) and is now estimated to finish the weekend around $19 million.

“xXx” has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 42 percent and a CinemaScore of A-.

The Weinstein Company’s “The Founder,” starring Michael Keaton as McDonald’s franchise pioneer Ray Kroc, earned an estimated $1 million on Friday from 1,100 locations. Tracking had suggested an opening over $3 million, which may now be hard to achieve.

The film also stars Nick Offerman, John Caroll Lynch, B.J. Novak, Patrick Wilson and Laura Dern. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 82 percent.

BH Tilt’s “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” is coming in below the production company’s estimate of $3 million — after grossing $380,000 on Friday. The faith-based film is now looking at a weekend gross of $1.1 million.

Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Hidden Figures” is expected to be a strong holdover in its third weekend at the box office and should easily take third place with another $16.8 million this weekend.

On Friday, the period drama starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae took in another $4.2 million, which should bring its cumulative total to $84.3 million when the weekend concludes.

“La La Land” is expected to earn $8.2 million for the three-day weekend, which would bring its domestic cumulative to over $89 million.