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After a string of critical disappointments, it’s fair to say that Split marks a welcome return to form for writer/director M.Night Shyamalan and audiences have turned out in their droves to send his latest twisty thriller to the top spot at the US box office. (via Box Office Mojo)

Made for around $10million, the James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy-starrer, went straight to the top of the charts with a bigger-than-estimated opening weekend of around $40.18million. If estimates hold, the film will be the fourth largest opening for a film in January and could be Shyamalan’s first $100million film since 2010’s The Last Airbender. In addition, the film took around $5.8million overseas (including $3.1million in the UK and Ireland) and will open in 40 more markets over the weeks ahead.

The week’s other big release, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, opened in 2nd place and grossed around $20million on its debut. While its hardly an impressive opening for a film with a $85million budget, the film has a huge international flavour to it so the majority of its box office will be recouped overseas. Indeed, its international debut brought in $50.5million and saw the film top 32 of the 53 markets it opened in. It’s fair to say that the film will certainly recoup its budget and with openings in China and Japan still to come, the film could recoup a tidy return.

Last week’s number one, Fox’s Hidden Figures, had another solid weekend bringing in $16.25million to raise its domestic total to around $85million, making it one of the real breakout hits of the festive/awards season. Just below it was Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, which continues its hugely impressive run despite still only playing in 1,865 theatres. With an estimated $16.6million grossed this weekend, its US total now stands at $83.7million with another expansion due in the next week or two after the Academy Award nominations are revealed. It’s worldwide gross now stands at a fantastic $173million and continues to grow.

Another new release this week was The Founder, which debuted in 1,115 theatres. The McDonalds origin biopic stars Michael Keaton and brought in $3.75million to finish 9th on the chart, roughly in-line with estimates.

Finally, Disney are celebrating another milestone this weekend as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has joined the $1billion club. With its domestic cume now over $512.2million (the 7th highest of all time) and international grosses at $499.1million, it becomes the fourth film from Disney in 2016 that has passed the milestone.

1. Split $40.1m (NR)
2. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage $20m (NR)
3. Hidden Figures $16.25m ($84.2)
4. Sing $9.036m ($249.3m)
5. La La Land $8.35m ($89.6m)
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $7.036m ($512.2m)
7. Monster Trucks $7m ($22.6m)
8. Patriots Day $6m ($23.6m)
9. The Founder $3.758m (NR)
10. Sleepless $3.7m ($15.19m)

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