‘Split,’ ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ to Battle for No. 1 at the Box Office

“The Founder” with Michael Keaton is set to top $3 million

Last Updated: January 18, 2017 @ 2:58 PM

James McAvoy’s “Split” and Vin Diesel’s “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” will battle it out for first place at the box office this weekend, with both films looking to earn in the high-teens to low-$20 million range.

Universal, distributor of “Split,” is anticipating a return in the high-teens when it opens in roughly 3,015 North American theaters starting Friday. However, trackers, on average, expect the film to come in at an even $20 million.

“Split” is directed by horror franchise guru M. Night Shyamalan 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 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“xXx” 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 extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage.

The film also stars Donnie Yen, Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette and Samuel L. Jackson and was directed by D. J. Caruso. It is opening in 3,600 locations (including IMAX and 3D) and is estimated to earn from $18 million to $20 million this weekend, the studio predicts — though some trackers have it as high as $25 million.

TWC’s “The Founder” stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc and portrays the acquisition of the McDonald’s franchise. This weekend, it will be opening in 1,100 locations. A survey of tracking suggests the film will open higher than $3 million — a figure the studio will be happy with, TheWrap has learned.

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 80 percent.

“The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” is opening in 1,000 locations on Friday and the distributor, BH Tilt, is hoping for a $3 million opening, although analysts are anticipating a $1 million opening.

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 $18 million this weekend. Should the newcomers under perform, “Hidden Figures” could have another shot of taking first place. It opened to $22.8 million two weeks ago and grossed a stellar $26 million its second weekend (four-day estimate, counting the MLK Day holiday).

The film starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae was produced for $25 million and has grossed a cumulative total of $64.4 million so far.