M. Night Shyamalan scored his fifth No. 1 movie as the director’s “Glass,” while not quite the blockbuster some expected, nevertheless dominated Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend at the box office with $40.6 million in ticket sales according to studio estimates Sunday.
Universal Pictures predicted that “Glass” will make about $47 million over the four-day holiday weekend.
Some industry forecasts had gone as high as $75 million over four days. But poor reviews took some of the momentum away from “Glass,” Shyamalan’s final entry in a trilogy begun with 2000’s “Unbreakable” and followed up with 2017’s “Split.”
Shyamalan’s film registered a 35 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences also gave it a mediocre B Cinema Score.
Yet the result still proved the renewed draw of Shyamalan, the “Sixth Sense” filmmaker synonymous with supernatural thrillers and unpredictable plot twists. “Split,” which greatly overshot expectations with a $40 million opening and $278.5 million worldwide, signaled Shyamalan’s return as a box-office force, now teamed up with horror factory Blumhouse Productions. Shyamalan, himself, put up the film’s approximately $20 million budget.
Jim Orr, president of domestic distribution for Universal, said any forecasts beyond how “Glass” performed were out of whack with the studio’s own expectations. Orr granted that better reviews might have meant a larger return and that the winter storm across the Midwest and Northeast may have dampened results.
But he said Universal was thrilled with the results. The four-day total ranks “Glass” as the third best MLK weekend openings ever, behind only “American Sniper” ($107.2 million) and “Ride Along” ($48.6 million). “Glass” also picked up $48.5 million overseas, where Disney had distribution rights.
“This came in at or above any reasonable industry expectations,” said Orr.
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