Split doubles projections
NEW YORK (AP)
M. Night Shyamalan's psychological thriller Split blew away box office expectations, earning US$40.2 million in ticket sales over inauguration weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Split doubled forecasts to easily lead all films. The Universal Pictures release again brings together Shyamalan, director of The Sixth Sense, with low-budget horror experts Blumhouse Productions. The PG-13 rated Split, starring James McAvoy as a man with split personalities, cost less than US$10 million to make.
The Vin Diesel action sequel xXx: The Return of Xander Cage opened in second place with US$20 million. It's the third film in the trilogy and first instalment in 12 years.
Last weekend's top film, the stirring mathematician drama Hidden Figures, held on well, sliding to third place with an estimated US$16.3 million.
Despite the weekend's political events, the North American box office was up 29.2 per cent from the same weekend last year, according to comScore. A pair of other new releases had more difficulty rounding up audiences.
The Weinstein Co.'s The Founder, a biopic about Ray Kroc of McDonald's starring Michael Keaton, launched in 1,100 cinemas, but gathered only US$3.8 million. It will be hoping for an Oscar nomination on Tuesday to help it stand out among the adult-skewing releases.
Oscar favourite La La Land is still going strong, with US$8.4 million in its seventh week.
Bombing altogether was the Christian drama The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, which took in US$1.4 million from 1,000 theatres.
Following are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian cinemas, according to comScore.
1.Split, US$40.2m (US$5.8m international)
2. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, US$20m (US$50.5m international)
3. Hidden Figures, US$16.3m (US$731,000 international)
4. Sing, US$9m (US$8.3m international)
5. La La Land, US$8.4m (US$16.6m international)
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, US$7m (US$9m international)
7. Monster Trucks, US$7m (US$2.4m international)
8. Patriots Day, US$6m
9. The Founder, US$3.8m
10. Sleepless, US$3.7m