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Weekend Box Office: Super Bowl Sunday ends with a twist—but not at the box office

Rings (Photo: Paramount)

The big game may have ended with a twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan (and a big metaphor for America right now, if everyone’s Twitter feed is to be believed), but Super Bowl weekend played out pretty much as everyone expected at the box office. Without any stiff new competition, Shyamalan’s latest thriller, Split, came out on top for a third weekend in a row—a feat the writer-director hasn’t accomplished since the summer of 1999, when The Sixth Sense spun a smash out of a third-act rug pull for the ages. Meanwhile, after months of respective delays and swapped release dates, two crummy American movies opened wide against each other. There was a winner, but it sure doesn’t look like one.

That would be Rings, the third and—until the inevitable reboot, anyway—probably final installment in a horror franchise that should have died with VHS. Landing in second place with a very modest $13 million, which is less than either of its Naomi-Watts-starring predecessors made out the gate, Rings did a little better than a movie that was supposed to open 15 months ago could expect to do—especially given its terrible reviews and dismal C- CinemaScore. Still, most of America treated this belated threequel like it really would kill them to watch it. It did do better, again, than The Space Between Us, the soggy sci-fi teen romance that’s somehow not based on a YA bestseller. (Seriously, we triple-checked.) The $3.8 million it eked out from Friday to Sunday was just barely enough to squeeze the film into the top ten. As if Asa Butterfield needs anything else to get all wet-eyed about.


Elsewhere on the charts, A Dog’s Purpose slipped into third place, surpassing its production budget to gross about $33 million total. (Side note: Isn’t it funny that a guy named Lasse has made three movies about canines?) And in the battle for highest-grossing Best Picture nominee, Hidden Figures just edged out La La Land by only about a million dollars—though something tells us that the throwback musical from newly minted DGA winner Damien Chazelle will come roaring back into the lead after the Oscars, barring any Super Bowl-like surprise at night’s end. At this point, La La Land losing would be a twist even Shyamalan might dismiss as far-fetched.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

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