As the Super Bowl weekend inches towards the big game, another tense show-off looks to be going on at the box office. As we reported yesterday, Rings, the latest, staggeringly dull take on Japan’s beloved Ringu franchise, took the top spot on Friday, beating out M. Night Shyamalan‘s surprisingly strong Split. It makes sense that it would take Friday, especially for a country that’s increasingly devoted to the genres of horror and thrillers. Most people who are interested have already seen Split and Rings is the new horror movie in town, so they went for that on opening night.
The full view of the weekend, however, looks to tell a different story. As many writers forecasted, and as Variety reports today, Split is now looking to go three for three in the top spot, narrowly edging out Rings by a difference of something like $800,000. Split is now looking at a $13.5 million take for the full weekend and Rings looks to be heading for a total of about $12.7 million. Though $800,000 is literally more than a decade’s worth of work for most people in the U.S., that’s actually a fairly narrow lead. Still, the fact that a Shyamalan picture is doing this kind of business is stunning, especially when you consider the sluggish performance of other movies he’s been making over the last decade or so. Well, okay, The Visit was pretty clever too.
It’s also clearly the last weekend that Split will have a chance at winning. Next weekend brings three major big studio releases – The LEGO Batman Movie, John Wick: Chapter Two, and Fifty Shades Darker. You can expect all three of those to show up in the top five next weekend, whereas the other big releases other than Rings this weekend are looking doomed. The Space Between Us, which our very own Matt Goldberg reviewed this week, is looking at a $5 million haul for the whole weekend, which effectively bars it from the top five this week. Hidden Figures ($10.3 million), A Dog’s Purpose ($8 million), and La La Land ($6.3 million) will instead fill out the rest of the top five. And the less said about Sony Pictures Classics most recent fiasco, Taylor Hackford‘s The Comedian, the better. There’s little hope for anyone coming out of that one clean, but one has to hold out hope that, after years of making some of the most bewilderingly bad movies to see release in America, Shyamalan will be able to build up a new hot streak deserving of his very real gifts as a filmmaker.