By Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter
M. Night Shyamalan’s horror-thriller Split stayed atop the North American box office for a third weekend in a row with $14.6 million from 3,373 theaters, the first time Shyamalan has claimed that victory since The Sixth Sense in 1999.
Horror ruled the weekend all the way around. Paramount’s Rings, returning the franchise after a long absence from the big screen, placed No. 2 with an estimated $13 million from 2,931 theaters. Rings had hoped to win the weekend, considering Split is well into its run.
Through Sunday, Split has grossed $98.7 million domestically for Blumhouse and Universal. It is the first Universal title since Straight Outta Compton in 2015 to win the race for three consecutive frames. Overseas, the film, starring James McVoy, earned another $14.6 million from 41 markets for a foreign total of $44 million and global tally of $142.7 million.
From Paramount, Rings revives the horror series that began in 2002 with The Ring, directed by Gore Verbinski, and was a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring (which in turn was based on a book by Koji Suzuki centering on a reporter who investigates a cursed videotape that kills its viewers after one week). The Ring earned $249.3 million at the global box office in 2002, followed by The Ring Two with $162 million in 2005.
The new film, helmed by F. Javier Gutierrez, stars Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden and Bonnie Morgan. Costing $25 million to make, it is also opening in 35 international markets this weekend, earning $15.2 million for a global bow of $28.2 million.
Elsewhere, STX Entertainment’s younger-skewing space romance The Space Between Us bombed with $3.8 million from 2,812 theaters. (STX insiders say the company’s exposure on the $30 million film is reduced to $3.7 million when factoring in foreign deals, co-financing partners tax incentives.)
Space Between Us, starring Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson and Gary Oldman, follows a boy who lives on a different planet for his whole life but builds a friendship online with a person on Earth. When he’s 16 he has the chance to go to Earth but soon discovers he can’t survive on the planet.
Back in the top five, Universal and Amblin’s A Dog’s Purpose placed No. 3 with $10.8 million from 3,178 locations for a 10-day domestic total of $32.9 million. The family friendly film fell 41 percent.
Fox 2000 and Chernin Entertainment’s Hidden Figures followed at No. 4 with $10.1 million from 3,401 for a North American total of $120 million. Hidden Figures feel a narrow 28 percent after winning top honors at teh Jan. 29 SAG Awards.
Lionsgate’s Oscar front-runner La La Land rounded out the top five with $7.5 million from 3,236 theaters for a domestic total of $118 million. Overseas, Damien Chazelle’s musical earned another $20.1 million from 72 markets for a foreign tally of $150 million and global total of $268 million. On Saturday night, Damien Chazelle won the DGA’s prize for best feature film director.
At the specialty box office, Robert DeNiro and Leslie Mann-starrer The Comedian withered in its debut in 838 locations with less than $1 million (the film’s total is $1.1 million including grosses from an award qualifying runs in December). Directed by Taylor Hackford, the movie also stars Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Veronica Ferres, Charles Grodin, Chloris Leachman, Patti LuPone and Harvey Keitel also star.
Related: 15 of 2017’s Buzziest Horror Movies