• Box Office

World Box Office, January 23-29, 2017

M. Night Shyamalan’s low budget comeback film Split took first place and didn’t’ share the top spot with anyone. Now in its second weekend, this intense thriller dropped just 36% and took $26.3 million. Star James McAvoy, known for his roles in The last King of Scotland, Atonement, and the last three films in The X-Men series, plays Kevin Crumb, a man suffering an extreme case of multiple personality disorder which leaves him with 23 distinct personas that operate his mind and body at different times. When some of his more sinister personalities overcome their usual suppression and are able to take control, Kevin kidnaps three teenage girls and holds them hostage in his basement. Their only hope is to convince his more compassionate sides to release them before something terrible happens. Split finished its second frame with a gross $77 million in the U.S. market. Overseas, it made $14.8 million this frame to reach a foreign total of $24.7 million, and sits at a global cumulative of $101.7 million. We’re used to staggering profit ratios from Jason Blum’s Blumhouse, which jumped onto the scene by turning $11,000 invested into Paranormal Activities into a $193.4 million global phenomenon. Split follows the trend by reaching these figures on a $9 million budget, which puts it on the high side for this miracle working boutique horror house.

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, and the other side of the world, Journey to the West: Demons Strike Back recorded the biggest ever day one in Chinese box office history. It took $52.3 million on its opening day, and went on to make $85 million in its opening weekend. It is a sequel to another 2013 Journey to the West Film, one of the biggest movies ever in the Middle Kingdom. Demons comes from veteran Kung Fu and more recently fantasy epic director and producer Tsui Hark. It tells the story of legendary Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang, the real life inspiration for the seminal 16th century novel on which these films are based. Xuanzang returns from a mission to deliver hidden sutras to India, and finds that three of his disciples have been imprisoned and corrupted. When they break out, he must chase them down and prevent them from destroying China.

Still on the Far Eastern scene, we have local production Buddies in India, a comedy martial arts romp about a Chinese warrior who learns on his father’s deathbed that his last will and testament is hidden in India and must travel there to unravel deep family mysteries. Buddies took $48 million in its Middle Kingdom launch. Kung Fu Yoga, another local Chinese title with an Indian twist, opened to $40.1 million at home. It stars Jackie Chan as an archaeologist pursuing the lost Indian treasure of Magadha in Tibet.

Back on our side of the Pacific, A Dog’s Purpose, which was supposed to be a comeback vehicle for Dennis Quaid, suffered from allegations of animal abuse on its set and opened a distant second with just $18.3 million. Testimony from crewmembers and viral videos of a dog nearly drowning during the filming of a stunt drew considerable ire and hurt the film’s chance of widespread success. Swedish Director Lasse Hallstrom, known for directing nearly all of ABBA’s videos before moving onto features like Chocolat and The Cider House Rules, and Safe Haven, takes the helm, while Britt Robertson and Josh Gad join Quaid. It added $3.7 million overseas for a $23.3 million opening cume.

Newcomer Resident Evil: The Final Chapter joined to half of the chart, finishing fourth with $13.8 million. It made $28.3 million overseas and has now reached $78.3 million worldwide, taking the franchise’s total box office earnings over $1 billion. Fellow action sequel XXX: Return of Xander Cage dropped 59% and made $8.25 million in its second weekend in U.S. and Canadian theatres. Foreign frame earnings of $24 million take its global cume to $122.5 million.

Next week we’ll see how these entries tack up against The Space Between Us, the story of the first Mars-born human’s journey back to earth, classic horror series sequel Rings, and I Am Not Your Negro, the telling of James Baldwin’s unfinished novel Remember This House, with Samuel L. Jackson as the narrator.