For the third week in a row, Universal’s “Split” landed in the No. 1 box office spot, beating out new releases, Paramount’s “Rings,” STX Entertainment’s “The Space Between Us” and Sony’s “The Comedian.” In fact, holdovers dominated on a relatively slow Super Bowl weekend.
“Split” added another estimated $14.6 million in the U.S. and Canada this weekend for a domestic total to date of $98.7 million. The film from M. Night Shyamalan, the director behind “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs” and starring James McAvoy as a kidnapper with multiple personalities, has pulled in $44 million internationally for a worldwide total of $142.7 million.
Landing in second place was newcomer “Rings,” with $13 million. It met analyst projections of $10 million to $15 million. Internationally, the picture brought in $15.2 million for a worldwide gross of $28.2 million to date.
“Rings,” about a video that kills people who watch it, is a reboot to a 15-year-old franchise that stars Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe and Johnny Galecki among others. The 2002 original, “The Ring,” was a highly profitable blockbuster for DreamWorks Pictures ($250 million in worldwide ticket sales) and launched a frenzy of companies looking to remake Japanese fright-fests for American audiences. Its 2005 sequel, “The Ring Two,” opened with $35 million domestically. This means that the $25-million Paramount reboot has launched poorly, comparatively.
Perhaps due to the recent string of successful horror movies at the box office, with “Split” and STX’s “The Bye Bye Man,” audiences (54% female, 67% under 25) didn’t take to the picture. It only received a C-minus CinemaScore.
Universal’s “A Dog’s Purpose” took third, with $10.8 million in its second week. The film, which was at the center of a controversy regarding the treatment of its animal actors, has grossed $32.9 million domestically to date. It’s slowly on its way to a $50-million worldwide total.
Fox’s “Hidden Figures,” starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, took fourth with $10.1 million. The film, about the black female mathematicians and engineers who helped put the first Americans in space, has been a hit with critics in Hollywood as well as moviegoers. On the heels of its surprising SAG Award win last week, for best ensemble, the picture continues to be a box office magnet in its seventh weekend with $119.4 million domestically.
Pulling up the rear, in this weekend’s fifth spot, is another award season favorite, Lionsgate’s “La La Land” with $7.5 million. In its ninth week, the musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling has brought in $118.3 million with more surely to come as it battles for all 14 of its Oscar nominations later this month.
As for the other new releases, the sci-fi romance “The Space Between Us” landed in ninth in its first week. It only brought in $3.82 million, well below analyst expectations of a soft $10-million debut.
“Space” follows the birth of the first human born on Mars, played by Asa Butterfield. Since his astronaut mother died giving birth, he grows up on the planet not knowing what life on Earth is like, or who is family is. On the journey to find out, he meets a girl online (Britt Robertson) who helps him once he returns to Earth. The film also stars Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino and B.D. Wong among others.
Despite the film’s poor performance, moviegoers (69% female; 33% under 18) who did see the picture enjoyed it, giving it an A-minus CinemaScore. Still, the film is an overall disappointment after being produced for $30 million. (STX’s’ share was less than $3.7 million after foreign licensing, tax credits and co-financing.)
Sony’s “The Comedian” didn’t perform well either. The comedy, starring Robert De Niro, Leslie Mann and Danny DeVito, did $1.1 million in ticket sales.
Next weekend, the box office will surely experience an uptick. With Universal’s “Fifty Shades Darker,” Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter Two” and Warner Bros.’ “The LEGO Batman Movie” all competing, a new leader will be named.