M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” has turned into a horror hit with a surprisingly strong $40.2 million in its opening weekend at 3,038 North American locations.
“Split,” starring James McAvoy as a man with 24 different personalities, performed far above recent expectations for Universal and Blumhouse. It easily topped the 2015 launch of Shyamalan’s found-footage horror movie “The Visit,” which scored an opening weekend of $25.4 million.
“Having M. Night Shyamalan’s name on the title means a lot, because his fan base is so devoted,” noted Universal’s domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou. “He’s the master of the plot twist.”
Carpou noted that “Split” showed plenty of drawing power in all demographics with the 52% of the audience being female and 52% under 25 and should perform well in coming weeks. “As a psychological thriller, this should have a lot of playability,” he added.
“Split” doubled Vin Diesel’s launch of “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” which is heading for a second-place finish for Paramount with $20 million at 3,651 sites — in line with recent forecasts. Fox’s historical drama “Hidden Figures” maintained its impressive performance in third with $16.3 million at 3,416 theaters for a domestic total of $84.2 million.