M. Night Shyamalan is back. For the second weekend in a row, the director’s Split is the box office winner.
Not since 1999’s The Sixth Sense has a Shyamalan movie opened with two consecutive #1 weekends. But Split pulled it off, seemingly cementing the filmmaker’s re-emergence after more than a decade of critical duds.
Split picked up an estimated $26.3 million domestically over the weekend, based on Sunday estimates. That’s down 34 percent after a $40 million opening weekend (domestic); a relatively small drop by Hollywood standards, and one that suggests both growing interest and repeat viewings for the new film.
Shyamalan’s second weekend success was aided by a number of factors. Namely: A Dog’s Purpose, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and Gold.
The former two are pacing to finish the weekend at #2 and #4 — with an estimated $18.4 million and $13.9 million domestic take — respectively. And Gold, The Weinstein Company’s new adventure starring Matthew McConaughey, opened at #10, with an estimated $3.5 million.
A Dog’s Purpose might have had a shot at challenging Split, if not for the leaked on-set video of one of the film’s dog performers being forced into choppy waters. The leak led to a pile-on of bad press, as well as a boycott call from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Resident Evil, meanwhile, lacks the theatrical draw that it used to have. Even releasing in the same week as a brand-new — and extremely well-reviewed — video game, director Paul W.S. Anderson’s latest clocked the lowest-ever opening for a Resident Evil movie by a wide margin; the first, and previously lowest-performing, entry in the series opened at $17.7 million.