'Split' Threepeats Over Super Bowl Weekend as Newcomers Fumble
Not many surprises this Super Bowl weekend as Universal's Split finished #1 for a third straight weekend in a row while the new releases struggled out of the gates. Between the new releases, Paramount's Rings did manage a second place finish despite largely negative reviews while STX's The Space Between Us, floundered and finished well below expectations. Overall, the top twelve grossed an estimated $81.1 million, a bit below the $82 million the top twelve combined for over last Super Bowl weekend, though actuals could show a bump as studios could be playing it a bit conservative with Sunday estimates ahead of this evening's big game.

With an estimated $14.6 million, M. Night Shyamalan's Split is the #1 movie for the third weekend in a row as the film's domestic cume climbs to $98.7 million. This is the first time Shyamalan has had a film top the weekend box office three weeks in a row since 1999's The Sixth Sense and will shortly be his fifth film to top $100 million at the domestic box office. Combined with an estimated $44 million internationally, the film's worldwide total currently stands at $142.7 million.

Finishing in second is the first of the weekend's new wide releases, Paramount's Rings, the third film in the Ring franchise and the worst opener of the trilogy with an estimated $13 million from 2,931 theaters. In addition to its domestic opening, Rings brought in an estimated $15.2 million internationally from 35 markets for a $28.2 million worldwide debut.

It's hard to say the film's opening is a surprise as it had bounced around the release schedule after it was originally set to hit theaters in November of 2015 and upon release, reviews were embargoed until Friday morning. At that point the flood gates opened and the film scored a dismal 5% on RottenTomatoes and a 24 on Metacritic.

Looking ahead, opening day audiences gave Rings a "C-" CinemaScore. The audience was 46% male vs 54% female of which 67% were under the age of 25. At this point it might be a struggle for this one to climb much higher than $27 million, similar to how last year's Blair Witch could only manage a 2.16x multiplier after opening with $9.57 million.

Universal's A Dog's Purpose finished third, dropping 41% from its opening weekend with an estimated $10.8 million. This result comes on the heels of news that an investigation by the American Humane organization into alleged on set animal abuse found no injuries or cruelty took place. The report also states the 2015 video that was released online ahead of the film's opening weekend was deliberately edited to mislead the public. The film's domestic cume now stands at $32.9 million, but there is no telling what kind of effect the pre-release controversy may have had on the feature.

In fourth, Hidden Figures continues its impressive run, bringing in an estimated $10 million this weekend as its cume is now just shy of $120 million domestically. Attempting to find satisfying comparisons for the film has not been easy given its initial limited release. That said, we put together a group of films that had similar release patterns and Hidden Figures continues to hold its own.

Rounding out the top five, La La Land finished its march through awards season as it brought in an estimated $7.45 million domestically as its cume is now just shy of $120 million. It also brought in an estimated $20.1 million internationally as its worldwide total has reached $268 million.

A little further down the list, the Weinstein's Oscar contender, Lion expanded into 1,405 theaters (+830) and finished in eighth with an estimated $4 million as its cume now stands at $24.7 million.

Finishing ninth is the weekend's other new wide release, STX's The Space Between Us, which finished well below the $8-10 million, pre-release industry expectations with an estimated $3.8 million. The film received a bit of a critical drubbing as it scored a 33 on Metacritic and an 18% on RottenTomatoes. Opening day audiences didn't quite agree with reviews, giving the film an "A-" CinemaScore. Of that audience 69% were female moviegoers vs. 31% male, of which 33% of the audience was under the age of 18.

In moderate release, Sony Classics opened The Comedian in 848 theaters where it brought in an estimated $1.12 million.

In limited release, Magnolia debuted Raoul Peck's well-reviewed documentary I am Not Your Negro into 43 theaters with the Film Forum and Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York on target to break house records for opening weekend gross as they have sold out every show this weekend. Magnolia is currently estimating a $709,500 opening for a $16,500 per screen average. Yet, that isn't the per screen champion this weekend as Jamal Joseph's Chapter & Verse brought in an estimated $32,713 from one theater, Harlem's MIST Theater. Looking ahead, both films will be expanding over the coming weeks.

Also in limited release, Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance brought in an estimated $24,685 from two theaters ($12,343 PTA); Good Deed's Growing Up Smith brought in an estimated $18,947 ($3,789 PTA); and Janus' release of The Lure into one theater brought in an estimated $6,500.

Next weekend has a lot for everyone as it sees the release of Fifty Shades Darker, The LEGO Batman Movie and John Wick: Chapter Two.

For a look at this weekend's estimated results click here and we'll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.

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