This past weekend’s January slot continues to be a goldmine for studios with Universal Pictures opening M. Night Shyamalan‘s Glass (read our review) in theaters everywhere. Even with torrid reviews, the film found an audience (its CinemaScore was actually higher than that of Unbreakable!) and matched its predecessor’s weekend opening with an estimated $40.59 million. It will earn an estimated $48M through the extended holiday. That’s massive considering the film’s reported $20M budget, which is double that of Split. Even at $20M, the film is already in the profit zone when you add in the insane $48M international opening for a global take of $89.1M ($97.1M by tomorrow). If you’re interested in the potential global life of Glass, Universal’s Split managed $278M in 2017. If Universal had their way, another sequel would be on the horizon, although Shyamalan owns the rights and had publicly stated that this will probably be the end to the trilogy. This is probably all she wrote, folks.
As for the other January hit, Sony/Columbia Pictures’ Escape Room is finally seeing international numbers trickle in ($13M with $8.5M of that coming from China). As we suspected, the Adam Rabotel-directed thriller is topping $50M globally ($53.7M) on a mere $9M budget. Our declaration of it being a hit was a bit premature, although we are now there. Escape Room *will* become a franchise. Book it.
As usual, horror is owning the January box office and setting the stage for yet another great year of genre success stories. While it’s mostly laughable to celebrate a film’s box office take, it does open the door for studios to take more chances on horror. A win for horror is a win for all of us.