|Film||Weekend||Opening Weekend||Current Gross|
|xXx: The Return of Xander Cage||$20.1m||$20.1m||$20.1m|
|La La Land||$8.4m||$881,104||$89.7m|
Infamous director M. Night Shyamalan is back. With Split’s impressive opening, soaring high above both predictions and the rest of the weekend’s movies, the thriller auteur had his best opening in seven years, after 2010’s The Last Airbender, which opened with $40.3 million. It also constitutes as one of his best openings in his career, up there with The Village and Signs. It’s also one of the director’s best-reviewed films (currently at 76 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, his second-best reviewed film after The Sixth Sense), showing he’s back in the good graces of critics and audiences alike, both in terms of ticket sales and critical consensus. Not to mention the fact that Split is Shyamalan’s second low-budget film (made for far less than $10 million, following The Visit‘s $5 million budget) and the director is doing an impressive return-on-investment at the box office. The Visit made nearly $100 million worldwide, while Split is already at $45 million and looking to surpass its predecessor.
The rest of the weekend turned out mostly as expected, other than Sing and La La Land flip-flopping. Vin Diesel’s return to the XXX franchise brought the film’s opening to its predicted $20 million range, well about the second film, State of the Union, which only opened to $12 million. Where the film is really succeeding is in the international markets. It’s already made $50 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $70.6 million, which is a good sign given its $85 million budget. This is also a similar story to several other Diesel films, including the Fast & Furious franchise, which has succeeded tremendously internationally. It’s not looking like Return of Xander Cage is going to make much of a splash Stateside, but it should at least be able to turn a profit.
Despite dropping to third place, Hidden Figures is still singing its sweet success story loud and clear. Dropping only 24.6 percent in its fifth weekend, it drew in nearly $16 million after it’s $27 million four-day holiday turn last weekend. It also, finally, opened in other countries and while it hasn’t made much of a dent abroad, it certainly can’t hurt the film. Domestically, Figures is now just shy of $85 million and what we’re really watching for now is whether it will be able to cross $100 million here. The likely answer is yes and that’s nothing short of exciting, given the buzz around the film and all it represents to audiences, especially women of color.
As mentioned above, Sing and La La Land switched places from where we predicted they’d land but they both mostly landed in their ballpark figures. La La Land, the musical frontrunner for Best Picture, made a little less than expected, but not enough to really cause any sort of outcry. It’s now close to $175 million worldwide and $90 million domestically, right on the eve of Oscar nominations, which are being announced tomorrow. The Damien Chazelle film will also be expanding into even more theaters this weekend and should be able to ride its Oscar buzz to a continued good box office run and perhaps even cross $100 million domestically.
Sing is also now only $2 million away from becoming the fourth-highest film for Illumination Entertainment and will undoubtedly be able to claim that prize this weekend (and there it will stay, because there’s no way it’s beating Minions’ $336 million). It’s turned out to be a great hit for Universal as well — their second-best film of 2016, in fact, following The Secret Life of Pets, another original family animated film (not merely a coincidence, but a larger trend).
This weekend we’ll see the opening of three new films: Gold, starring Matthew McConaughey, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and A Dog’s Purpose. All eyes, including ours, will be on the latter film to see how it performs after all its controversy.
(Source: boxoffice.com, boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed.)
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor