Ladies and gentlemen, M. Night Shyamalan is back. The iconic (and often infamous) director has experienced a rough few years characterized by a number of sub-par films, but that all seems to have changed with the recent release of Split. The bizarre, psychological, pseudo-supernatural thriller has become a surprise box office hit, and it's been more evident over the course of the last few weeks that audiences cannot get enough of it. In fact, Split just crossed achieved a significant milestone for the horror genre by becoming the highest grossing horror film since James Wan's The Conjuring.
According to a report from Vulture, Split is officially the highest grossing horror film since 2013's The Conjuring. The film has remained a dominant force at the box office for the last three consecutive weekends, and as of yesterday, it has garnered roughly $98.5 million at the domestic box office. It did not hurt that Split had little competition at the box office this weekend. Most of the more prestigious winter releases have been out long enough to see their box office returns start to tail off, and most of the January releases that should've posed a threat to Split's reign have fallen notably flat. I'm looking at you, Rings.
That insane financial performance is compounded further when we consider how cheaply M. Night Shyamalan was able to produce this film. Costing only around $9 million to make, the film has already made back its budget more than ten times over. If the financial success of The Visit in 2015, which similarly garnered $98.5 million against a $5 million budget, signaled a potential (and very welcome) career resurrection for Shyamalan, then Split should pretty much solidify that. If the director wants to take this film and expand his current universe (which seems to be his intention), then we could have another profitable franchise on our hands.
Whether or not Split will be able to hang on to this winning streak remains to be seen. January was a bit of a drought for quality films, but this coming weekend will see the releases of heavy hitters such as The LEGO Batman Movie, John Wick: Chapter 2 and Fifty Shades Darker. Split likely won't be able to cling to the top spot at the box office for too much longer, but it still has a good chance to break into the $100 million club, making it Shyamalan's first movie to do so since The Last Airbender.
We will keep you posted regarding any and all updates related to the financial performance of Split as more information becomes available to us. M. Night Shyamalan's latest phycological thriller is currently in theaters, so be sure to check it out while you still can!