M Night Shyamalan’s ‘Split’ Surprises With Crazy-Good $40 Million Opening

Heading into the weekend, analysts had projected an opening in the high-teens to mid-$20 million range

Last Updated: January 22, 2017 @ 10:56 AM

Universal’s “Split” earned $16.5 million on Saturday and is now looking at a three-day opening weekend of $40 million — way ahead of expectations.

Heading into the weekend, analysts had projected the film starring James McAvoy to gross in the low-$20 million range. On Saturday, the movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan was looking at a $35 million debut weekend.

Vin Diesel’s “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” is on its way to an opening weekend return of $20 million, in line with early projections by box office experts in the high-teens to low-$20 million range. On Saturday, the action sequel earned $8 million.

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

Internationally, the film has earned $50.5 million. The domestic result of $2.6 million from 377 IMAX screens is the third highest grossing January opening weekend ever in IMAX.

“Split” stars James McAvoy as a kidnapper with 24 distinct 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 applauded by critics and currently has a score of 76 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with a CinemaScore of B+.

The film also earned $5.8 million in foreign territories including the United Kingdom and Finland, bringing its worldwide total to $46 million.

Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Hidden Figures” took third place this weekend, making a solid $7.3 million on Saturday, bringing its three-day estimate total to $16.2 million. Now in its third weekend in wide release, the film starring Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer has earned $84.2 million at the domestic box office.

Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s “Sing” and Lionsgate’s “La La Land” rounded up the weekend’s top five, each earning around $9 million over the three days. Cumulatively, “Sing” has grossed $249 million domestically, while Oscar frontrunner “La La Land” has made almost $90 million.

“The Founder” took in $1.6 million on Saturday night and is now estimated to earn $3.8 million for the three-day weekend. Tracking had suggested an opening over $3 million, which the studio said they would be happy with.

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

“We feel very strong with the gross and we can see the word of mouth and have hopes that with a nomination for Michael on Tuesday, it will further the audience for the movie,” TWC COO/President David Glasser said in a statement.

BH Tilt’s “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” came in below the production company’s expectations this weekend. On Saturday, the faith-based film earned $558,000 for a weekend estimate of $1.35 million. It was expected to earn around $3 million heading into the weekend. “Gavin Stone” has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 42 percent.

“20th Century Women” earned $1.2 million in its second week of limited release from just 650 screens, bringing its cumulative total up to $2.3 million.