For quite a few years, director M. Night Shyamalan was basically treated as a laughing stock, with the common sentiment being “how does this guy keep getting hired by Hollywood to make movies?”
After all, in the span of a single 10-year period, Night managed to direct four widely-loathed movies: Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth.
Thankfully, Night’s critical fortunes began to change for the better with 2015 found footage hit The Visit, which – while far from universally loved – earned the director his best reviews since 2002’s Signs.
Now, Night’s career path seems to be officially back on track, judging by the responses to his new film Split. Split stars James McAvoy as a kidnapper with 23 different personalities, each possessing its own unpredictable traits.
Split currently sits at a healthy 74% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with McAvoy’s performance being called award worthy by many.
Of course, it isn’t just critics who are digging Split, as the film just took the #1 spot at the domestic box office for the second straight week. Impressively, Split sustained only a 34% week to week drop, almost unheard of for a genre film.
Night’s latest has now grossed nearly $78 million domestically, with a current global total sitting at nearly $102 million.
Like The Visit, Split is one of Night’s lowest-budgeted films ever, at only $9 million. Thus, the above $100-plus million worldwide total is nearly all profit, and surely has distributor Universal grinning from ear to ear.
It’s too early to say whether he’ll ever direct something as amazing as The Sixth Sense again, but M. Night Shyamalan is officially back.