Horror again reigned at the box office with M. Night Shyamalan’s SPLIT beating out the newcomers and earning a “threepeat” at the top of the list. That is a feat all but unprecedented for horror films, which typically suffer major drops in their second and third weekends. SPLIT declined another 43% in this frame, but that was still enough to triumph and get it only $1.3 million away from cracking the $100 million dollar mark. An impressive achievement for this genre, particularly given the measly $9 million budget.
Horror also came in second, thanks to Paramount’s RINGS, but this attempt to revive the RING cycle grossed a meagre $13 million. Given its poor reviews and weak CinemaScore, the long-delayed feature (originally set to open in 2015) will not be around long.
The weekend’s other new wide release, the teen sci-fi/romance THE SPACE BETWEEN US, did even worse. Opening in 9th place with a disastrous $3.8 million, this represents another flop for upstart distributor STX Entertainment.
A DOG’S PURPOSE landed in third amidst reports that a video reportedly showing cruelty to one of the animals during production had been manipulated. It is not clear how much that negative publicity impacted the picture, but its $33 million to date represents something of a disappointment for Universal.
Rounding out the top 5 are two popular awards contenders likely to stay in the Top 10 for a few more weeks. Now on 3400 screens, HIDDEN FIGURES brought in another $10.1 million for an amazing $119.4 million to date. Right on its heels is LA LA LAND, with $7.5 million for the weekend and a $118.3 million gross.
There are three big contenders opening next weekend, all of which should top SPLIT. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE is widely anticipated to triumph, followed closely by the kinky romance sequel FIFTY SHADES DARKER. While it will not equal their totals, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER TWO should prove to be enticing fare for action fans.
James McAvoy in SPLIT. Courtesy Universal.