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Weekend Estimates: Split Stuns with $40 Million Debut

January 22nd, 2017


2017 has its first surprise hit. Split is set for a weekend just north of $40 million, according to Sunday morning’s projection from Universal. That’s not just the biggest weekend of the year so far, but it almost doubles the $22.8 million earned by Hidden Figures a couple of weeks ago, and moves the studio ahead of Fox as the leading distributor for the year so far. It also marks, of course, a return to form for M. Night Shyamalan. It basically ties the debut of The Last Airbender back in 2010, and his last movie to do significantly better on opening weekend was The Village, which started out with $50.7 million in the Summer of 2004.

Whether Split can hold on will depend on word-of-mouth, and a 76%-positive score on Rotten Tomatoes and B+ CinemaScore are both good enough that it should have a decent run. The film should certainly reach $100 million, even with a lot of Oscar hopefuls getting buzz (and increased screens) over the next few weeks.

In second place this weekend, xXx: Return of Xander Cage will land right in line with expectations with $20.1 million. That’s up considerably from the $12.7 million earned by State of the Union on its opening weekend, but down a lot from the $44.5 million picked up by the first film in the franchise. With a budget of $85 million, the film will have to do especially well internationally to earn back much of its budget, and it seems unlikely we’ll be seeing more of xXx any time soon.

Xander Cage’s numbers this weekend are much healthier than the weekend’s three other wide releases/expansions. The Founder opens in ninth place with $3.76 million from 1,115 theaters. Good reviews won’t help it much, but an Oscar nod or two could give it some life. The same is true for 20th Century Women, which starts out its wide run with $1.4 million or so from 650 locations. Its theater average of $2,154 means it’ll struggle to hold on in that many movie houses for long.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone isn’t aiming for Oscars, and won’t win any. It also won’t win a long theatrical run, given its $1.24 million opening in 887 theaters. It did at least top $1,000 per theater, and will have cost little to market, as a niche release, so it’ll hardly be a financial disaster. Its debut is fairly disappointing, however.

- Weekend estimates

- xXx: Return of Xander Cage comparison chart
- Split comparison chart

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, The Founder, 20th Century Women, Split, Hidden Figures, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, M. Night Shyamalan