M. Night Shyamalan has had one of the more interesting careers in Hollywood in recent decades. He came on the scene like a force of nature with movies like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, and Signs. From there, however, we saw what seemed to be a steady decline in the writer/director's output, but every time we think we're ready to count out M. Night Shyamalan, he seems to come roaring back with something that makes people notice him again. And this time, that movie is Old, which just crossed the $65 million mark worldwide.
The new film, about a beach that makes people, well, old, appears to be another hit for the director, which is extra special for him because he just celebrated a birthday. The director turned 51 on August 6 and today he thanked everybody for the very nice birthday present, a successful film which not only is doing well in absolute terms, but appears to have legs from week to week, which is something we're really not seeing from modern film releases.
$65 million globally may not seem like a lot, but under the current circumstances where the global pandemic is still hitting movie theaters hard, it's a respectable number. On top of that, M. Night Shyamalan movies tend to be on the inexpensive side to make so a $65 million take might have already made the film a tidy profit.
The more impressive thing than the box office total may be the fact that the movie has hit that number over the course of three weekends, where the box office drop from one weekend to the next has been much less than most other major films. We've seen most movies, like Black Widow have a fairly strong opening weekend and then seemingly fall off the edge of the map.
It could be because that movie, and others, have been available through other channels and only those who really need the theatrical experience have headed out for the first weekend, and then that's it. Perhaps the fact that Old has only been in theaters has pushed more people over the course of three weeks to seek it out. It's also possible that word of mouth is actually having a positive impact, and people are going to see it after their friends tell them it's worth the trip to the theater.
At this point it's difficult to know for sure just how the box office is working simply because it's never worked quite like this ever before. What is clear is that while Old might not be M. Night Shyamalan at his best, it's certainly him doing what he does best, making unusual films that make audiences curious. Even under the current circumstances there are people who want to see what this movie is all about.
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