M. Night Shyamalan’s career has had more twists than the endings to his movies! He scored bigtime early in his career with hits like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs before slipping into mediocrity with flops like The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth. He began to win back fans with 2015’s The Visit, but his real second chance came with this January’s Split. Made on a budget of just $9 million, the movie earned nearly $275 million worldwide! While this may not be enough to wash the taste of After Earth‘s $60 million domestic gross against a budget of $130 million, it’s certainly enough to show that Shyamalan can still make likable and financially successful movies when given a small budget.
According to Variety, star of Pretty Little Liars Lucy Hale has been cast in the lead role of Blumhouse Pictures Truth or Dare (not to be confused with Madonna’s 1991 documentary of the same name). The film is being directed by Jeff Wadlow who is best known for Kick-Ass 2 and Cry_Wolf.
The film will, “… follow(s) a college student in Mexico who is conned into playing a supernatural version of Truth or Dare. The game doesn’t stop and follows her back home. The screenplay was written by Wadlow, Chris Roach (Non-Stop), and Jillian Jacobs from a story by Michael Reisz and Wadlow, Roach, and Jacobs.”
Although Life received positive reviews and benefited from a recognizable cast, the film had trouble finding any “life” at an incredibly competitive March box office and only returned an estimated $12,600,000 during its opening weekend.
Even though Life earned a 67% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, fans chose other options at the cinema, or stayed home waiting for the next installment in the Aliens series (Alien:Covenant), from which it appears Life borrows heavily from. Fans gave the film a very low “C+” Cinemascore rating, which is particularly low for a film that scored much better with critics (Life’s score also happens to be one of the lowest of 2017 so far). With a production budget close to 60 million dollars, the film will have to do markedly better at the foreign box office to turn a profit, no small feat for an R-rated sci-fi/horror film.
Although Logan easily beat out all competition at the box office with a $85 million dollar debut due to stellar reviews and Hugh Jackman’s farewell performance as everyone’s favorite Canadian mutant, Get Out continued to rack up impressive box office numbers in second place.
Get Out made $28 million at the box office this weekend, bringing the film’s total to a robust $78 million dollars. Aside from its profitable debut last weekend ($33 million), the film also performed very well over the week, taking in an average of $4 million from Monday to Thursday.
As predicted at the start of the over-stuffed winter horror film season, there were bound to be some box office casualties and if you are Twentieth Century Fox, you probably wish you sought a second opinion before green-lighting this one.
Out of the numerous horror films released this season, A Cure for Wellness is undoubtably the biggest disappointment, earning an estimated $4.2 million dollars in receipts at the film’s opening weekend box office. Every other major horror release this year (Split, Underworld: Blood Wars, Resident Evil: the Final Chapter, Rings, and the Bye Bye Man) have earned more during their opening box office frames, even films with worse reviews and worse word-of-mouth.
Variety is reporting that Twentieth Century Fox has released a statement of apology for creating and posting fake new stories in an attempt to raise awareness for their upcoming film A Cure For Wellness.
The statement conceded that the viral marketing campaign was ill-advised and in poor taste, stating that, “In raising awareness for our films, we do our best to push the boundaries of traditional marketing in order to creatively express our message to consumers. In this case, we got it wrong.”
Split posted a narrow victory over fellow horror film Rings at the 2017 Superbowl weekend box office showdown.
Split added an estimated $14.5 million dollars to its already far above expectations total. Split will also reach the $100 million dollar domestic milestone early this week, as its cumulative total stands at roughly $98 million. Split will certainly drop the box office title next week, as three high profile releases (Fifty Shades Darker, John Wick 2, and The Lego Batman Movie) will most likely bump the film into 4th place. Irregardless, Split is undoubtedly the horror winner of the winter season, emerging from a very large crowd of contenders.
Defying all logic and shattering initial expectations, Split once again ruled the box office this weekend. Going into the weekend, the modestly budgeted film ($10 million) had already earned $51 million dollars and added another estimated $26.3 million to its cumulative box office total over the January 27-29 frame for a grand total of $78 million.
Split appears to be the big winner this winter season, not only muscling out fellow horror films, but all new releases as well. Bolstered by a young teen audience and undeterred by underperforming action films such as XXX: The Return of Xander Cage (a $33 million return on a $85 million dollar budget), Split looks to continue to grab more cash in weeks to come. It will face more competition over the next few weeks with Rings (and a number of smaller releases such as Don’t Knock Twice) debutting next weekend. At this point, it will depend if audiences remember (and want to see) a third film in the franchise after 12 years or if horror fans will respond to the film with apathy, similar to last fall’s Blair Witch remake. Next week’s Superbowl is also a factor, as studios traditionally release films that appeal to women in the form of horror movies and romantic comedies. Will ticket buyers who wish to escape Superbowl hype choose the reigning champ or yesterday’s creepy hit next weekend? Stay tuned to Horror News Network to find out!
According to Variety, Split, the psychological horror thriller by M. Night Shyamalan, finished first at the box office with $40.2 million in ticket sales, exceeding industry estimates by roughly $20 million dollars.
Shyamalan has become a director who can once again turn a profit for studios after a pair of disasterous big budget failures in the form of After Earth and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Things got so bad for the formerly trendy director, that Shyamalan even took a break from directing to write a book about school reform entitled I Got Schooled, hoping to cash in on the state and federal money available to would-be “saviors” of education.
The Bye Bye Man finished in fifth place at the box office for the weekend of January 13, 2017, taking in an estimated $13,378,000. While the placement doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, it was in fact the highest grossing new film of the weekend, beating fellow newcomers Patriot’s Day, Monster Trucks, and Sleepless. The film capitalized on a primarily female and under 25 audience to double its budget in the first three days of release.
While this is a solid opening for a horror film in January, the level of competition gets stiffer next week, and the rest of the month. M. Night Shyamalan’s horror thriller Split will be released next weekend with the same target audience in mind, greatly reducing The Bye Bye Man’s staying power at the box office. Also contributing to a potential steep decline for the film is the fact that the film earned a “C” Cinema Score and a 28% critic’s score on Rotten Tomatoes.