Manoj Night Shyamalan was considered once upon a time as a master of twisted thrillers. Sixth Sense catapulted him to stardom while Unbreakable and Signs maintained his reputation. But then arrived the gloom in his career. With box-office and critical failures (Remember “The Last Airbender”?!), Shyamalan became a joke. However, things turned bright in 2015 for him with the release of his small but effective thriller The Visit. Critics loved it and it made 10 times its budget at the box-office! So when he announced his next directorial with James McAvoy in the lead, expectations and doubts loomed over the movie, titled Split.
The $10 million psychological thriller, mainly in the news for the 24 personalities played to perfection on-screen by James McAvoy, opened to a staggering $40 million last weekend in the US. It will again top the weekend this time, beating the new releases A Dog’s Purpose and Resident Evil 6. So whats the reason of this humungous success of this R-rated psychopathic thriller?!
Great billboards drew in audiences, with the trailers and the film’s marketing campaign that spoke perfectly to McAvoy and Shyamalan fans, giving them the perfect glimpse into what the movie was about. Moreover, Universal did word-of-mouth screenings last weekend in 24 locations (fitting, given that McAvoy’s character has 24 personalities in the film). The film now has a “fresh” rating of 75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and has a CinemaScore of B+, so obviously, word-of-mouth helped the film become a box office hit. The trailers released were cutting edge helping to produce the right sense of curiosity.
2. Release Date:
“Split” opened on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, an event that sparked women’s marches all over the world. In Los Angeles, the LAPD estimated that more than 100,000 attended, although organizers reported approximately 750,000, which far exceeded organizers’ expectations for 150,000 protesters. Evidently, “Split” offered entertainment for those wanting to escape reality. Shyalaman offers films in which audiences can get lost and forget about everything else that’s going on in their lives using twists and surprises that no one ever sees coming.
3. Manoj Night Shyamalan:
Shyamalan is also a household name that people have come to associate with the best horror films out there. His works include The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs. After a series of duds, 2015’s “The Visit” was a critical and commercial success, having earned $98 million worldwide against a budget of less than $10 million!
4. James McAvoy:
In the recent years, McAvoy has shown that he is a big name actor that can draw audiences to the movie theaters. He has become a household name for the “X-Men” franchise, in which he played the younger version of Professor Charles Xavier. The latest movie in the series, “Apocalypse,” grossed $543 million worldwide. Also, his turn as a person with 23 split personalities has garnered unanimous acclaim!
I am eagerly awaiting its release in India…How about you?