Split continues to thrill US cinema-goers
M Night Shyamalan’s multiple personality thriller Split is still dominating the US box office.
The Universal Pictures release – starring James McAvoy – grossed $26.3 million (£20.9 million) in its second weekend in cinemas.
That sum reflects just a 34% drop from its first weekend, which is nearly unheard of for a horror thriller.
Opening in cinemas amid controversy over animal treatment on set and calls for a boycott, A Dog’s Purpose still managed to earn $18.4 million (£14.6 million).
Tracking expectations had pegged the family film to open in the mid $20-million range, but it had a healthy debut for a movie that cost only $22 million (£17.5 million) to produce.
Representatives of Universal Pictures, which distributed the Amblin-produced film starring Dennis Quaid, say the opening was in line with their hopes.
“It’s a great start for what I think is going to be a long-term playout on the title,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s president of domestic distribution.
The film came under scrutiny earlier this month after a gossip site released a video of an apparently frightened dog from the movie that seemed to have been forced into rushing water during the making of the film. The footage quickly went viral.
Animal welfare organisation Peta called for a boycott of the film.
Carpou acknowledged that the video, which he and the filmmakers have said is “highly edited” surfaced at “a very inopportune moment in the build-up to the release of our movie” and they knew that it would have some effect.
Hidden Figures was in third, new opener Resident Evil: The Final Chapter was in fourth, and Oscar hopeful La La Land was in fifth place.
Damien Chazelle’s musical crossed the $100 million (£79.5 million) mark in America after earning 14 Oscar nominations that helped fuel its earnings.