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Weekend Box Office: Split Delivers Big Second Weekend to top A Dog's Purpose, Resident Evil

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By Chris Kavan - 01/29/17 at 07:23 PM CT

As if last week couldn't convince people that M. Night Shyamalan was once again a force to be reckoned with, the second week performance of Split should silence any critics still out there. A Dog's Purpose managed to overcome any controversy and deliver a solid second-place performance while the Oscar buzz helped both La La Land and Hidden Figures to new heights. The same couldn't be said of Resident Evil, which managed to snag a spot in the top five but was still the lowest opening film for the franchise. It was also a grim week for Gold, as Matthew McConaughey's drama barely cracked the top 10. All in all, it was a pretty good weekend.


Just how good was the second weekend for Split? The film not only came in first place for the second weekend in a row with $26.26 million, but it had a drop of just 34.3%. That is an amazing hold for any regular film, but for a horror movie, it's nearly a miracle. Heck, its second weekend came in ahead of the first weekend of The Visit - and its $77.9 million total will make it one of Shyamalan's highest-grossing films as it should, in short order, top the likes of Unbreakable ($95 million), The Village ($114 million) and probably even The Last Airbender ($130 million). The 34% drop bested the second week drops from the like of The Grudge (44%) and The Conjuring (46%) and should become one of Blumhouse's top-grossing films. Worldwide, the film has already surpassed the total of The Visit ($101 million vs $98 million) and, if it can hold out, it has a real shot of topping Paranormal Activity ($107 domestic, $207 worldwide) as the studio's top-grossing film. Whichever way you look at it, Split has delivered a knockout performance and the surprises have kept audiences in thrall and interested. I think it has a shot at topping next week and we'll see how it fares from there, but a $135 million total is not out of the question.


Despite some major controversy surrounding the film, it turns out that general audiences didn't seem that concerned. It may have slightly hurt its opening, but the $22 million film still opened with a solid $18.38 million and will have no problem recouping its cost. Even though it does star Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid and Britt Robertson, the film doesn't really have a big star anchoring it, either. Audiences have shown in the past their acceptance of man's best friend on the big screen - from Snow Dogs to Marley and Me, dogs just seem to draw in a crowd. The film earned an "A" Cinemascore, along with mixed reviews, but I think the film is going to play out just fine.


Hidden Figures retained its third-place position and had a light 11% dip, owing in part to recent Oscar nominations and some high profile wins already. Hidden Figures took in $14 million for the weekend and crossed the $100 million milestone with a new total of $104 million. That is great news for the $25 million picture. If the love continues (and I see no reason why it shouldn't), Hidden Figures has a good show at becoming the second-highest grossing film of 2016 for Fox - behind only Deadpool. It's a great history lesson no matter how you look at things and should play well as awards season rolls on.


It turns out Resident Evil is a lot like Underworld - both franchises have a strong female lead, both franchises released a new entry in to the series after a several-year hiatus and both of the new entries saw a record-low opening. This Final Chapter turned out to be a $13.85 million opening, well below the previous low of $17.7 million that the original film opened with back in 2002. The film didn't impress critics and audiences weren't far behind. With a ho-hum "B" Cinemascore from the mostly male (56%) and younger (45% under 25), the film isn't likely to draw in word-of-mouth business and I suspect a $30 million finish is about the best one could hope for. It turns out there is an expiration date on once-strong franchises and, in my opinion, perhaps both series should have left well enough alone and ended one film sooner.


Rounding out the top five for the second weekend in a row, and posting a nice 43% Oscar bump in attendance (granted, it also added over 1200 screen), La La Land was the big post-Oscar nomination winner with a $12.05 million weekend and new $106.5 million total, also joining the $100 million plus club. It has also earned an impressive $117 million overseas, bumping its worldwide total to $223 million and proving that crowd-pleasing films aren't just an American institution. When the film hits $120 million, it will essentially be one of the top films for Lionsgate outside of the Hunger Games/Twilight/Divergent series of films - and that's an impressive feat all on its own. This is going to play right through the Oscars and if it wins as much as it did during the Golden Globes, it should also get a big post-Oscars bump as well.

Outside the top five: It turns out trying to be the next best thing next to The Wolf of Wall Street is a daunting task. Gold was a non-starter and barely made a peep at the box office, coming in 10th place with just $3.47 million. That also represents one of the worst wide-release openings for star Matthew McConaughey and based on the negative reviews and "B+" Cinemascore, this one is going to be lucky to limp away with $10 million.

Other films seeing some Oscar bump include Lion (a 35% increase with $2.38 million in 14th place), Manchester By the Sea (adding an extra 625 theaters for a 113% jump, earning $2.02 million in 15th place), Moonlight (added 615 theaters for a 159% increase with $1.53 million in 18th place) and even Arrival (adding a whopping 1041 theaters and jumping 357% for a $1.47 million weekend and 19th place finish). Arrival is flirting with $100 million, we'll see if it can make it.

Next week brings us Rings - a new entry in the cursed video franchise, along with The Space Between Us about a boy raised on Mars who finds true love on Earth but whose life is put in jeopardy the longer he stays on the planet.


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