This weekend, director M. Night Shyamalan scored his first number one opening in over a dozen years with his new suspense thriller Split which rocketed to the top spot with an debut of an estimated $40.2M from 3,038 locations for a sturdy $13,227 average. It was the fourth biggest January opening weekend of all-time and came in well ahead of expectations. To put this performance into perspective, the biggest horror opening of last year came from The Conjuring 2 which bowed to a similar $40.4M but was the sequel to one of the highest-grossing fright films ever.
Reviews were very strong for the James McAvoy starrer and paying audiences were happy too as evidenced by the B+ CinemaScore grade which is on the high end of where films of this genre end up. Broad appeal helped the PG-13 Split pull in the numbers. Studio data from Universal showed that the crowd was 52% female, 52% under 25, and was split evenly 50/50 between white and non-white ticket buyers.
Opening in second was the Vin Diesel action vehicle xXx: Return of Xander Cage with an estimated $20M from 3,651 locations for a $5,478 average. A roll-out in 53 international markets resulted in a $70.5M global debut making it the world’s number one movie this weekend. Cage comes more than 14 years after Diesel’s previous film in this franchise (2002’s XXX) and was met with mixed review from critics, but good buzz from audiences as the CinemaScore grade was an A-.
The crowd for the PG-13 film was 53% male and 62% over 25 according to studio data from Paramount. With an international cast, Xander Cage debuted at number one this weekend in markets such as Russia, France, Germany, Mexico, Australia, and Brazil and still has openings coming in February in key markets like Korea, China, and Japan.
After two weeks at number one, the sleeper hit Hidden Figures dropped to third place but still posted a great hold. The Fox release dipped by only 22% to an estimated $16.3M and raised its incredible total to $84.2M. Look for the $100M mark to be broken before January is over on its way to a final in the neighborhood of $125M which would be five times its production cost.
Universal got to within striking distance of the quarter-billion mark with its hit toon Sing which followed with an estimated $9M, off 37%, for a cume to date of $249.4M. Global sits at $428M. Days ahead of what should be a large number of Academy Award nominations, La La Land grossed an estimated $8.4M, down 43%, for a new total of $89.7M for Lionsgate.
Rogue One broke the $1 billion global box office mark this weekend as domestic took in an estimated $7M sliding by 48%. Cume is $512.2M and is still on a trajectory to finish at about $530M. International sales rose to $499M. Tied for sixth place was Paramount’s Monster Trucks which slipped a reasonable 36% to an estimated $7M for a total of $22.6M after its second weekend. Off 48% was Patriots Day with an estimated $6M giving CBS Films and Lionsgate $23.6M so far.
The Michael Keaton film The Founder debuted in ninth place with an estimated $3.8M from 1,115 locations for a mild $3,370 average. The Weinstein Co. release earned good reviews. Jamie Foxx rounded out the top ten with his action pic Sleepless which fell 56% in its sophomore outing to an estimated $3.7M putting Open Road at $15.2M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $121.3M which was up 27% from last year when The Revenant climbed into number one with $16M; but down 11% from 2015 when American Sniper held onto the top spot with $64.6M.