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We’re often told to not judge a book by its cover, but how about a movie by its release date? Well, if you’re going to do just, that then the month of January is usually when the runt of the cinematic litter plunges into theatres. Which is why you shouldn’t be surprised that the new M. Night Shyamalan film, Split, has been confirmed for a January 20, 2017, release date.
Variety were the first to confirm that Split will be released on January 20, 2017, revealing that it had actually been brought forward a week from what was previously announced. At the moment very little is known about Split. And when we say very little, we mean that all we actually know is that it is a suspense thriller that possesses elements of the supernatural. Plus, we have the knowledge that James McAvoy will head up the cast, which will also see Anya Taylor Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula, and Haley Lu Richardson all delving into the world of M. Night Shyamalan.
Some of you might be wondering why we here at Cinema Blend are feeling down on Split just because of its release date. Well that’s because the months of January and February are described as dump months in the film community. Studios usually like to fill multiplexes with films that they don’t have too much hope in, as well as teen or horror genre pictures, or films that were deemed unmarketable or fared poorly in test screenings. As of late though, that trend seems to be reversing to a certain degree.
Still, is it just us, or does this pre-judgement feel a bit too harsh? Sure, The Visit helped to stem the tide of failure, but the fact that it wasn’t a complete monumental failure as a film isn’t enough for us to believe Shyamalan is now back on the straight and narrow. Like The Visit, Shyamalan is teaming up with Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions to create what we are currently assuming will be another low-budget flick. Obviously the pair hope that like The Visit, Split will generate a very healthy box-office return. Having been shot for just $5 million, The Visit went on to make just over $89 million, much like your average Blumhouse picture is wont to do.
The film was actually met with relatively positive reviews when it was released just last month, with critics insisting that it had a nice mixture of thrills and laughs. It was almost universally agreed that after bombs like Lady In The Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth, The Visit was a stark improvement compared to Shyamalan's most recent output. You can even kind of see that promise in the film's trailer, shown below.
That said, it's going to take a lot more than a conveniently dead release date to undo the work M. Night Shyamalan has done towards ruining his career. Especially when you realize what’s coming up in this January's box office crop. Sure Kung Fu Panda 3 looks promising, but we also have Ride Along 2, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi, Dirty Grandpa, and Fifty Shades Of Black, the latter of which is a spoof of Fifty Shades Of Grey, being released as well. Though looking at that mixed bag of questionable material, can you blame us for already feeling pretty sure that Split is going to be a stinker?
Split will hit theaters on January 20th, 2017; unless a bigger, better movie forces the project to live up to its name.