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M Night Shyamalan's Split beats xXx: The Return of Xander Cage to US top spot

Split

Story by Jack Foley

M NIGHT Shyamalan’s Split has beaten xXx: The Return of Xander Cage to the top of the US box office.

The horror-thriller took a higher than expected $40.2 million to give Shyamalan one of better openings of recent times.

The film stars James McAvoy as a man suffering from multiple split personalities, who kidnaps three young girls. It was made for $10 million and self-financed by Shyamalan in order to retain creative control.

Vin Diesel’s return to the extreme action franchise xXx, dubbed The Return of Xander Cage, opened in second place with $20 million, but didn’t take as much as Paramount would have hoped in order to back more movies.

The opening means that the film will need to perform really well overseas. So far, it has earned $50.5 million internationally for a global total of $70.5 million. Russia led the way with $5.5 million, while France took $3.1 million. The film won’t open in China until next month.

Two more new releases also struggled. Michael Keaton’s The Founder, a biopic about McDonald’s impresario Ray Kroc, took just $3.8 million – although the film is hoping to land some Oscar nominations, which could revive its fortunes.

And faith-based film The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, starring Brett Dalton as a washed-up child star who returns to his hometown, where he pretends to be a Christian in order to land the role of Jesus in a play being produced by a nearby mega-church, bombed with $1.4 million.

Back in the US top five, historical drama Hidden Figures and Lionsgate’s La La Land both remained strong.

Hidden Figures, which had won the past two weekends, came in third with $16.2 million for a US total of $84 million, while La La Land came in fifth with $8.4 million, putting its US tally at roughly $90 million.

Overseas, the awards darling also continues to shine with a foreign gross of $83.7 million and global total of $173.7 million.

Universal’s animated hit, Sing, placed fourth with $9 million for a US total of $239.4 million and global haul of $428 million.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Lucasfilm and Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story took a further $7 million for a US total of $512.2 million and a global haul of $1.011 billion.

Next story: Richard Armitage joins Ocean’s Eight