"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.
"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
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
"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, and Nina Dobrev.
[to top of second column]
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.
"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.
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