M. Night Shyamalan's SPLIT Exceeds Expectations With A $40 Million Domestic Opening Weekend, Beating xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE

– by Joseph Medina

comScore today announced the official worldwide weekend box office estimates for the weekend of January 22, 2017, as compiled by the company’s theatrical measurement services. This past weekend saw a pretty solid turnout for two new wide releases, namely M. Night Shyamalan’s latest horror thriller Split and Vin Diesel’s new action flick, xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Split led off the domestic box office with an impressive $40 million, which is well above estimates that had it tracking around $34 million. This is also a good enough number to give Split the fourth largest January opening of all time. Given the strong word of mouth the movie seems to be having, it also seems to be paving the way for the flick to break $100 million domestically, which would be a first for the filmmaker since The Last Airbender back in 2010 (which had the help of brand recognition). We’ll have to see what kind of legs this guy has, but it certainly seems to be foreshadowing a potential M. Night Shyamalaissance (let it be known that I was the first to coin that word). 

Vin Diesel’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage, a sequel that no one really asked for, came in a distant second with $20 million. While this may sound like a disappointment, that’s actually on the high end of the estimate given for the flick, and given the decent overseas performance, this opening weekend brings the movie pretty darn close to its $85 million production budget. It doesn’t look like it’ll be making gangbusters for the studio, but given that it’s sure to have a decent home release (where drinking games will undoubtedly be played), this modest opening could spell a decent success for the threequel. Will it be enough to fuel the further sequels we know Diesel is planning? That remains to be seen.

It is worth noting that while Split came out on top domestically, the worldwide box office saw xXx: Return of Xander Cage beat the thriller by quite a hefty margin of around $25 million, though given the larger production budget of xXx, a higher worldwide gross was largely expected (for reference, Split has a $5 million budget, and xXx has an $85 million budget).

On a more low-key front, The Founder, the Michael Keaton film that chronicles the founding of fast food giant, McDonald’s, opened in north of 1,000 theaters, and take in a modest $3.75 million. Given this is more of character piece, expectations weren’t exactly through the roof, but given the modest $7 million budget, it’s not too bad of an opening. The one downside here is that there seems to be little Oscar buzz surrounding this one. As such, it’s doubtful they’ll be able to capitalize on marketing it to the Oscar-hungry crowd. Either way, this one will probably be able to make back the rest of its small budget on home release.

Let’s take a look at both the domestic and worldwide box office estimates!

The top 12 worldwide weekend box office estimates, listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, January 22, are below

  1. xXx: Return of Xander Cage - Paramount - $70.5 million
  2. Split - Universal - $45.98 million
  3. La La Land - Lionsgate - $25.95 million
  4. Sing - Universal - $17.34 million
  5. Hidden Figures - 20th Century Fox - $16.98 million
  6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Disney - $16.04 million
  7. Passengers - Sony - $15.7 million
  8. Moana - Disney - $15.41 million
  9. The King - Next Entertainment World - $10.5 million
  10. Arrival - Paramount - $10.12 million
  11. Assassin’s Creed - 20th Century Fox - $9.52 million
  12. Monster Trucks - Paramount - $9.4 million

The top 12 domestic weekend box office estimates, listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, January 22, are below.

  1. Split - Universal - $40.18 million
  2. xXx: Return of Xander Cage - Paramount - $20 million
  3. Hidden Figures - 20th Century Fox - $16.25 million
  4. Sing - Universal - $9.04 million
  5. La La Land - Lionsgate - $8.35 million
  6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Disney - $7.04 million
  7. Monster Trucks - Paramount - $7 million
  8. Patriots Day - Lionsgate - $6 million
  9. The Founder - The Weinstein Company - $3.76 million
  10. Sleepless - Open Road - $3.71 million
  11. The Bye Bye Man - STX Entertainment - $3.56 million
  12. Moana - Disney - $2.51 million

What do you think of this weekend’s past box office performance? Let us know your thoughts down below!

Don't forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.

SOURCES: ComScore, Box Office Mojo (1), (2)

Box Office, Film, News Box Office, Split, xXx: Return of Xander Cage