‘Glass’ tops the box office for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend but falls short of expectations


While it didn’t shatter any records, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” topped the box office over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, bringing in $47 million.

With the benefit of an extra day, the twisty supernatural thriller, which completes a trilogy that began with 2000’s “Unbreakable” and continued with 2016’s “Split,” notched the third-highest opening weekend for Shyamalan behind 2002’s “Signs” and 2004’s “The Village.”

But even as the film, which stars Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy, easily won the weekend, it fell short of early projections that ran as high as $55 million, owing perhaps to a one-two punch of largely negative reviews and severe winter weather across a large swath of the country. Audiences gave the film a middling B CinemaScore.


Nevertheless, Jim Orr, president of domestic distribution at Universal Pictures, said the studio was extremely pleased with the rollout of the movie, which Shyamalan self-financed and produced with Blumhouse Productions. “Glass” marks the third-highest debut ever for the MLK holiday weekend, behind the 2015 drama “American Sniper” ($107 million) and the 2014 action-comedy “Ride Along” ($48.6 million).

“The results speak for themselves,” Orr said, noting that the film’s audience skewed older and more male than the viewership for “Split.” “The competitive landscape turned out very well for us, and going forward we should have a great run at the domestic box office. It’s M. Night’s fifth No. 1 debut, which is just amazing, and Blumhouse’s 11th No. 1 debut. So obviously we couldn’t be more proud to be in business with both of them.”

Landing in second place, the Kevin Hart-Bryan Cranston dramedy “The Upside” held up well after its chart-topping debut, pulling in $18.3 million in its second week, a drop of just 10%. The picture has now earned nearly $47 million domestically to date.

Warner Bros.’ latest DC superhero film, “Aquaman,” splashed into the third spot, taking in $12.6 million in its fifth week and surpassing the $300-million mark in domestic grosses. Worldwide, the film has pulled in more than $1 billion.

Hot on the heels of “Aquaman,” Funimation’s animated martial arts fantasy “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” made a surprisingly strong showing, earning fourth place with $12.3 million. The 20th film in the Dragon Ball franchise, which stretches back to the mid-1980s, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” notched the fifth-highest anime theatrical opening of all time.

Rounding out the top five, the critically acclaimed animated superhero picture “Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse” continued to impress six weeks into its run, adding an additional $9.8 million to bring its domestic box office haul to more than $160 million.

Looking ahead, with Oscar nominations to be announced Tuesday, box office watchers will be looking at the handful of contenders still in theaters — including the Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk,” the drama “A Star Is Born” and the gonzo period dramedy “The Favourite” — to see which receive significant bumps.

The Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was a surprise best picture winner at the Golden Globes earlier this month in the drama category, rocked past the $200-million mark domestically this weekend, coming within striking distance of the $204 million earned so far by “A Star Is Born.” Globally, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has earned $800 million — the kind of stratospheric haul typically reserved for comic-book tentpoles, not dramas.

Another leading best picture contender, Universal’s feel-good, racially inflected road movie “Green Book,” expanded to 912 theaters over the weekend, taking in an estimated $2.76 million. On Saturday, the film won the Producers Guild Award for best picture, cementing its status as an Oscar front-runner and setting it up to receive a potential further boost at the box office, where it was initially seen as underperforming when it was released in November. To date, the movie has grossed $42 million domestically.

“It’s been legging out extraordinarily well,” Orr said. “We’ve had a very methodical plan that we’re continuing to work, and we will expand it wide this coming weekend. I think we have great prospects going forward.”

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