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Shyamalan’s ‘Split’ again rules North America box office

By AFP 07 February 2017   |   3:38 am

This file photo taken on January 18, 2017 shows actor James McAvoy attending “Split” New York Premiere at SVA Theater in New York City. “Split,” the M Night Shyamalan thriller about a man with multiple personalities who locks three teenage girls in an underground bunker, held onto the top spot in the North American box office for a third weekend, industry estimates showed February 5, 2017.¬†Matthew Eisman / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

“Split,” M Night Shyamalan’s thriller about a man with multiple personalities who abducts three teenage girls, topped the North American box office for a third weekend, industry data showed Sunday.

Starring James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy, it earned $14.4 million in ticket sales over a three-day weekend, with sales slowed by football’s Super Bowl, box office analyst Exhibitor Relations reported.

The cumulative North American total for the film, made on a tiny $9 million budget, is now $98.5 million. With mostly positive reviews, Forbes magazine has called it “the first outright sensation of 2017.”

In second spot was the widely-panned Paramount sequel “Rings,” which scored $13 million in its first weekend.

The film, the latest in a horror franchise that began in 2002 with the money-making “Ring” — itself a remake of the 1998 Japanese original “Ringu” — tells the story of a videotape that kills those who watch it.

Third spot went to “A Dog’s Purpose,” Universal’s family-friendly flick about a canine who continually comes back to life as different dogs searching for meaning. It took in $10.5 million in its second week.

Some animal lovers had called for a boycott of the film after video footage showed an apparently terrified German shepherd being forced into rushing water on set.

In fourth place was “Hidden Figures,” Fox’s true-life story of three black women mathematicians who helped NASA put the first men in space. The comedy-drama, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, took in $10.2 million in its seventh week, for a healthy cumulative total of $119.5 million.

“La La Land,” Lionsgate’s nostalgic tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals, held on to fifth place in its ninth week, with revenue of $7.4 million.

Behind the acting, dancing and singing of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the film has garnered a boatload of accolades and is a strong favorite at the Oscars.

Rounding out the Top 10 are:

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” ($4.7 million)

“Sing” ($4.1 million)

“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” ($3.9 million)

“The Space Between Us” ($3.78 million)

“Lion” ($3.76 million)

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