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M. Night Shyamalan broke his string of critically bashed films with Split, the filmmaker's first original story to cross $100 million at the box office since The Village in 2004. Next Split will come to Digital HD on April 4th followed by a Blu-ray and DVD release on April 18th.
Split won the box office three weekends in a row thanks in part to its intense storytelling and the twist ending that no one saw coming. The Split Blu-ray comes with an alternate ending that should be must-see material as well as deleted scenes »
It was the best weekend at the 2017 box office so far, led by WB's The Lego Batman Movie along with fellow newcomers Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter Two topping the box office in that order. But along with the new releases, five of the weekend's holdovers, especially Lion, held on extremely well, dropping 35% or less compared to last weekend. Overall the weekend top twelve came in just a fraction below our overall expectation of $180 million as the top twelve combined for an estimated $176.9 million. At #1, WB's second film in their Lego franchise, The Lego Batman Movie, delivered an estimated $55.6 million, which is well below Mojo's forecast and even a bit below the $60 million the studio was expecting. However, opening day audiences gave the film a strong "A-" CinemaScore, which plays well with the strong critical reception the film received. Of that audience, 48% were males vs. 52% females and 48% were »
- Brad Brevet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the year 2000 there might not have been a bigger M. Night Shyamalan fan than yours truly. The Sixth Sense was a sucker punch of a movie; I didn’t see the quality or the cultural zeitgeist coming. I remember buying a ticket with zero expectations having heard none of the hype. I can remember a 30 second spot with Haley Joel Osment saying “I see dead people” and a shot of Bruce Willis yelling at a car that drives by; the product of a marketing department trying to sell a deliberately slow drama as having moments of thriller like tension.
Like so many others, The Sixth Sense was an amazing experience. A wonderful film with great performances and an amazing ending for those of us who didn’t see it coming. Unbreakable was a movie that seemed less transformative to mainstream ticket buyers, »
- Anghus Houvouras
Bryce Dallas Howard has a laugh that should be heard to be appreciated. It’s hearty and genuine -- an infectious burst of gusto that happens when she gets excited about something, such as acting, which, surprisingly enough, is not something that all actors enjoy talking about. But in Howard’s case she does.
Over the course of a couple of phone chats -- one interrupted by a dead cell phone battery -- one can hear the earnest joy in her voice, usually followed by that laughter, when talking about her journey from M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, her feature film debut, to the massive success of Jurassic World despite her character’s penchant for running in heels from dinosaurs and, most recently, her 2017 Screen Actors Guild Award-nominated performance in an episode of Netflix’s Black Mirror.
“Maybe this is a little corny, but I’m a third-generation actor, so it’s awesome »
When you sit down to watch an M. Night Shyamalan movie, you know you're going to get at least one of a few things: shivers running up and down your spine at Usain Bolt-like speeds, a nightmare or two, a shot of the Philadelphia skyline, and, of course, a twist of epic proportions. Of all the horror and sci-fi directors who drop shocking endings on us, few are as well-known for them as Shyamalan. Unexpected endings have become somewhat of the writer-director's calling card ever since he skyrocketed to fame for his brilliant, final surprise in 1999's The Sixth Sense, which he's since attempted to re-create in successive films like Signs and The Village. Given the recent release of his latest horror flick Split, we've decided to settle this once and for all: which one of his films has the best twist? Join us as we narrow down his movies (only horror/thrillers, »
- Quinn Keaney
It’s actually quite nice to see M. Night Shyamalan making something of a comeback. All too often, we see filmmakers lose their touch and sort of fade into obscurity, but with these last two movies, Shyamalan is proving once again why fans used to consider him one of the up-and-coming masters of suspense.
After movies like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs hit theaters, it seemed like he was an unstoppable force, but with the release of The Village — a film that was largely divisive, even among his fans - it seemed to reveal a chink in his armor. His next movie, Lady in the Water was the biggest flop of his career, and from there, it seemed as though the filmmaker had fallen into a pit of quicksand.
It’s been north of ten years since those movies hit, and in the time since, one has to wonder »
- Joseph Medina
Outside of the big debut for Universal Pictures’ Split, it was another ho-hum weekend at the North America box office. The low-budget James McAvoy thriller trounced the pricey Paramount action flick xXx: Return of Xander Cage, which sputtered in second place. The Weinstein Company’s Oscar hopeful The Founder found few takers in its ninth place opening, while the box office dud Silence doubled its screen count over last weekend only to see business drop by half.
Budgeted at a mere $9 million, Split scared up a big $40.2 million from 3,038 screens. The latest from Unbreakable directior M. Night Shyamalan earned solid grades from both critics and ticket buyers. Praise from the former earned the Bloomhouse production a 76% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, while the latter graded the feature a “B+” on CinemaScore. Split’s debut is the fourth biggest of Shyamalan’s career following Signs ($60.1 million), The Village ($50.7 million) and The Last Airbender »
“Split,” starring James McAvoy as a man with 24 different personalities, performed far above recent expectations for Universal and Blumhouse. It easily topped the 2015 launch of Shyamalan’s found-footage horror movie “The Visit,” which scored an opening weekend of $25.4 million.
“Having M. Night Shyamalan’s name on the title means a lot, because his fan base is so devoted,” noted Universal’s domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou. “He’s the master of the plot twist.”
Carpou noted that “Split” showed plenty of drawing power in all demographics with the 52% of the audience being female and 52% under 25 and should perform well in coming weeks. “As a psychological thriller, this should have a lot of playability,” he added.
- Dave McNary
From The Sixth Sense (1999) onward, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan has been popularly and critically typecast as the champion of “plot twists.” This label probably plays into the unusually intensive scrutiny undergone by his films. Specifically, the scrutiny likely stems from Shyamalan’s tendency to design narratives around the selective doling out of information, which lends itself to unusually plot-focused viewing. There is something to be said for the fact that a plot twist, on some level, deceives its viewers, leading them to believe something before abruptly unfurling that belief. Reviewing his latest film Split, I would like to mostly dispense with this emphasis on “twists.” By stressing one specific element of his storytelling process, one runs the risk of neglecting to address his commitment to storytelling itself. That is, it’s worth noting that Shyamalan sees cathartic possibilities (often profoundly affirming ones) embedded in the very notion of story. Take, »
Between The Visit and Wayward Pines, M. Night Shyamalan has been launched back into the spotlight, making him once again an exciting filmmaker to look out for. His latest thriller, Split, in which three young women are abducted by a deranged man suffering from a multiple personality disorder, features a fantastic performance by James McAvoy and retains the writer-director’s signature flair for atmospheric mystery but with a deeper bite.
Shyamalan has surely had his ups and downs, but as of late, seems to have re-discovered that style that made his earlier films like The Sixth Sense and Signs so successful. If nothing else, he’s having fun again, and that’s definitely good news for everyone.
Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Shyamalan in an exclusive interview while he was doing press for Split. Among other things, we dug into his new demented tale and how it »
- Joseph Hernandez
(It probably should be expected that there will be major spoiler for “Split” and other M. Night Shyamalan movies below. So here’s your spoiler alert.) M. Night Shyamalan movies have it tough. Almost all of them feature an attempt at a hard-hitting twist, and with the massive success of “The Sixth Sense” right out of the gate, the bar for those twists has been set pretty high. When a movie’s twist fails to clear that bar, viewers and critics aren’t too kind about it. Several Shyamalan movies, such as “The Village” or “Lady in the Water,” are met with disdain for their. »
- Phil Hornshaw
M. Night Shyamalan first gained fame with The Sixth Sense, thanks to its brilliant, original twist ending. Since then, the director has been chasing the ever-elusive high of a similarly successful and mind-blowing surprise, which he's attempted in his successive horror and sci-fi films like The Village, Signs, and Unbreakable. Although those failed to deliver the same impact, his 2015 found-footage flick The Visit seemed to herald a return to form for Shyamalan with its simple story and fantastic, shocking conclusion. With that in mind, the writer-director's latest entry into the horror genre, Split, looked like it might be a twist-filled slam dunk at the box office. Although the film suffers from a few bloated, meandering storylines and the ending will leave some rolling their eyes, there are enough creepy, terrifying moments (and incredible performances) scattered throughout Split that will no doubt make it a notable notch on Shyamalan's belt of accomplishments. »
- Quinn Keaney
On this week’s Film Club, A.V. Club critics A.A. Dowd and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky sit down to discuss M. Night Shyamalan’s shameless low-budget B-film Split and take live questions. The twist? They both think it’s the best thing the one-time Hollywood golden boy has done since his heyday in the 2000s, and even if they don’t see eye to eye on The Happening and The Village, they think you should see Split.
Watch the full episode of Film Club below.
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Split has started 2017 on a great note for horror movies. Tense and thought-provoking, the thriller is M. Night Shyamalan's best work in years. While there's one very obvious cameo at the end of the film, you may miss the one embedded in the middle. Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley) wants to see how Barry/Dennis/Kevin (James McAvoy, who has too many alternate identities to list out) leaves the building after their session, so she has the maintenance man pull up the security camera footage. And just who plays that maintenance man? Writer/director Shyamalan! He's actually billed as "Jai, Hooters Lover" on IMDb, which I personally find hilarious. It's status quo for the director to appear in his own movies; he's played bit parts in nearly all of them, dating back to 1992's Praying With Anger. You may remember seeing him as Dr. Hill in The Sixth Sense or »
- Maggie Pehanick
There's a twisted little reveal at the end of M. Night Shyamalan's multiple personalities horror flick, Split -- though, that shouldn't come as a surprise to fans of the director, as an Omg!-worthy twist in the final act of the film has become his calling card in Hollywood. (Which wasn't always the case, as -- twist! -- he also wrote the script for Stuart Little.) As for how it stacks up against the twists of Shyamalan films past, we won't divulge the ending of Split here, but...
Massive spoilers for all other M. Night Shyamalan films ahead.
For Shyamalan's part, his favorite of his twists is in Signs. "I don’t know why, I find it so spiritual," he told Et. "The guy who lost faith and then remembers what his wife said. Then, he looks around the room and sees that his wife was talking about this moment. It always »
Split is M. Night Shyamalan's best film in fifteen years. His second outing with micro-budget, horror producer Jason Blum isn't in the same league of Signs or The Sixth Sense. But delivers enough chills to warrant a positive recommendation. James McAvoy is a one man show here. He takes creepy to the nth degree with a truly disturbing performance. Shyamalan knows the value of his lead actor and lets him run to greatness. There's also the requisite twist ending, which I must acknowledge, is actually quite clever.
Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Casey, a withdrawn teenager at a birthday party. She's about to get a ride home with her classmates (Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula) when a strange man (McAvoy) gets into their car. He puts on a mask and gasses the girls. They wake up terrified in a sealed underground room. Their captor introduces himself as Dennis. He's very concerned that they remain clean. »
For well over a decade, it’s been en vogue to sling mud at writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. The filmmaker had a promising enough start to his career, but after making The Village, critical and fan acclaim for his flicks have taken a nosedive. It almost seemed like nothing out there could salvage his career.
However, last year’s The Visit really began to turn around the whole narrative. While it wasn’t an amazing film, it was a movie that could be firmly placed in the “solid” category. Last year saw the premiere of Shyamalan’s latest film, Split, and even moreso, this flick proves that there’s still plenty of juice left for the filmmaker.
- Joseph Medina
James McAvoy acts the hell out of 23 roles in Split, the story of Kevin, a psychiatric patient afflicted with dissociative identity disorder (Did). Actually, the actor introduces us to only a handful of these personalities. Too many "alters," as they're called, might spoil the brew cooked up by writer-director M. Night Shyamalan in one of his best psychological thrillers. In trying to repeat the success of his landmark 1999 scarefest The Sixth Sense, the director has backed himself into a lot of corners involving the mystical beings and surprise endings. Critical reaction has been cruel, »
“I see dead people.”
It was the plot twist heard around the world when writer-director-producer M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense hit theaters in 1999 and surprised everyone with one of the most shocking reveals in cinematic history. The film, starring Bruce Willis and newcomer Haley Joel Osment, earned six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Shyamalan. It was also a monster success at the box office, grossing over $672 million worldwide on a $40 million budget, and turned Shyamalan into a household name.
Born in India, raised in Pennsylvania and a graduate of New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, Shyamalan followed the success of The Sixth Sense with even more twists and turns over the next two decades. 2000’s Unbreakable -- also starring Willis -- 2002’s Signs with Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix and 2004’s The Village -- also with Phoenix -- saw the director reach new heights »
Welcome to The Top 5, where every week, we list five things for a given topic. These topics can range from "5 Things We Liked About The Power Rangers Teaser Trailer" to "5 Things We Want (Or Don't Want) In Ben Affleck's The Batman."
Of course, because everyone has an opinion, there is sure to be some disagreements, which is why, despite the title "The Top 5," very rarely are these actual "best of" articles. Instead, they're meant to provide entertaining insight, and to stir a discussion, and give everyone a chance to speak their mind.
If you have a suggestion for a Top 5 piece, send them my way via #TheTop5LRM on Twitter. If I choose your topic, I'll be sure to give you a shoutout!
Now, on with today's topic!
5 Movies You Think Are Bad, But Are Actually Pretty Good
We often go through life assuming certain movies are bad. Gigli? »
- Joseph Medina
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