Split Decision

It was almost as if we had a sixth sense. We just knew that director M. Night Shyamalan just might see the top of the box office again with his creepy thriller Split. And sure enough, when all the box office receipts were counted, the signs pointed to the cinematic twisteroo making a visit to the top of the charts.

It took more than a village to push the movie to the top spot. Indeed, folks across the country plunked down an estimated $40.2 million for tickets to Split, giving it an unbreakable hold on the No. 1 position. It wasn’t a full-fledged, Star Wars-caliber happening, of course. But it was the fourth biggest January opening on record, for whatever that’s worth.

Another newcomer, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, only made half of what Split did, but its $20 million take still powered it into second place, likely aboard improbable water skiing motorcycles. Hidden Figures, last week’s box office winner, slid to third with $16.3 million.

Two music-oriented flicks, the animated Sing and the Oscar hopeful La La Land, wrapped up fourth and fifth place, respectively. Sing warbled its way to another $9 million, bringing its total box office haul to $249.4 million, while La La Land traipsed to $8.4 million in advance of tomorrow’s Academy Award nomination announcement.

After five weeks in the Top Five, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, slipped to sixth with $7 million. But weep not for our plucky band of rebels. Rogue One cleared the $1 billion mark in terms of its worldwide grosses—enough to keep the brand stocked with kyber crystals for the foreseeable future.

Down the charts, we see a couple of other notable newcomers. The Founder, a last-minute entry into this year’s Oscar derby, gobbled up $3.7 million in its first weekend of real activity—good enough for ninth place. And The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, an inspirational Christian dramedy, collected $1.4 million in nearly 900 theaters.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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