It’s safe to say that M. Night Shyamalan is officially back as one of the top genre filmmakers working today.
For a second consecutive weekend his latest thriller, “Split,” starring James McAvoy as a man with multiple personalities who has kidnapped three girls, tops the weekend box office.
Taking in an estimated $26.3 million, according to Variety, that puts the movie’s domestic total at around $78 million (the film was only made for $9 million).
This follows Shyamalan’s successful 2015 faux documentary horror “The Visit,” which took in $98.4 million worldwide (on a $5 million budget).
Both “Split” and “The Visit” were produced by horror titan Jason Blum (the “Paranormal Activity” and “Insidious” franchises) and it seems Shyamalan (who was also a producer on both films) has found the perfect collaborator following a string of bigger budget flops ending with 2013’s “After Earth.”
New release “A Dog’s Purpose” came in second place this weekend, taking in $18.4 million. The movie has been dealing with weeks of bad press after video surfaced of dogs in the movie allegedly being abused on set.
It’s debatable if the movie would have had a better opening weekend if it wasn’t for this controversy. A better indication will be in the coming weeks, as past canine movies like “Eight Below” and “Hotel for Dogs” have turned out to be strong performers through its time in theatres (both earning over $100 million worldwide).
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