Friday Box Office: ‘Rings’ Spooks ‘Split’ Out of the Top Spot

     February 4, 2017

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And now begins the February lift-off following January’s not-great opener. Though there will obviously be some changes that give it a bit more heft, this January saw a noticeable dip as compared to recent years with only a $291 million total. That’s the worst total since 2007, with its $266 million, with all other recent years easily making it over the $300 million mark. One could easily blame President Trump for this – people are out protesting and reading more news – but there’s also the lack of a hold-over hit like The Revenant last year. The closest we got is La La Land and Moonlight, which are doing well but don’t have Leonardo “I Make It Rain” DiCaprio in the lead role.

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Image via Paramount Pictures

As expected, horror movies are doing well. M. Night Shyamalan‘s Split has been the top grosser the past two weeks and early predictions have the movie going three for three this week. On Friday, however, it was F. Javier Gutierrez‘s Rings that won out with $5.6 million, beating out Split‘s still-impressive $4.8 million. The film, which seems to be at once a sequel and a reboot to Gore Verbinski‘s scary and stylish The Ring and the less-sufferable Ring 2, both serving as remakes of Japan’s Ringu franchise, has name recognition, which may have been just the thing it needed. Mind you, reception to this film has been unkind in the extreme, even for cheap, pointless horror movies made with the clear intention to cash in on a long-dead property. That being said, Split is close on its tail and we might be seeing a showdown by the end of tomorrow.

The Space Between Us is not looking very good in terms of returns. The sci-fi romance, itself an attempt to reconfigure the chemistry of The Fault in Our Stars in a science fiction setting, came in with $1.4 million on Friday for STX, which took the movie out of Relativity’s hands when they started bankruptcy proceedings. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics look to have another mediocrity on their hands with Taylor Hackford‘s The Comedian, which took in $323, 000, and Magnolia’s big Oscar hopeful, Raoul Peck‘s bracingly relevant I Am Not Your Negro, came in with about $201,000 in its limited run. With the Super Bowl airing tomorrow, it’s a bit hard to predict where the wind will blow but it will be a battle between Split and Rings, a scrappy auteurist B-movie or a stale studio product that should never have been.

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