Split Strikes Again

Despite three new movies hitting theaters this weekend, Split continues to dominate the box office with a rather ironic, single-minded aplomb. The M. Night Shyamalan thriller earned an estimated $26.3 million to escape with its second straight box office victory. That’s more than $1 million for each of the central character’s personalities! Not too bad, some of them would surely say. (Not nearly enough, say others, and one just wants to make sure the cash is dirt free.)

And that’s not all: With about $78 million in its coffers thus far, Split is the year’s biggest movie. But hey, 2017’s still young. I don’t think Star Wars: Episode VIII is quaking in its shiny Stormtrooper boots just yet.

Split’s domination made for a ruff opening weekend for A Dog’s Purpose, which finished second. Granted, Split wasn’t the only obstacle that this Fido flick needed to overcome; it suffered a bit of bad publicity, courtesy a controversial (and some say misrepresented) viral video clip from PETA that had some dog lovers howling. Still, A Dog’s Purpose managed to gobble up $18.4 million—just about what prognosticators predicted. That’s worth at least  a little kibble, I’d say.

Two Oscar Best Picture hopefuls finished inside the Top Five. Hidden Figures cruised to $14 million this weekend. It narrowly edged Resident Evil: The Final Chapter for third place. Meanwhile, La La Land banked $12.1 million to finish fifth. Both movies have now crossed $100 million for their cinematic runs—the only two Best Picture contenders to do so thus far. Indeed, La La Land, adding nearly another 1,300 theaters to its run, actually saw its earnings go up.

‘Course, practically every Best Picture hopeful saw an uptick in traffic as folks try to view a contender or two before the Academy Award’s Feb. 26 ceremony. Arrival had its weekend-over-weekend stock soar by more than 357%, while Hacksaw Ridge saw a staggering 431% increase. Meanwhile, many of the movies that largely got shut out from Hollywood’s biggest gala—Martin Scorsese’s Silence, for instance—continue their long, quiet slide into box office irrelevance.

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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