Glass - the latest thriller from director M. Night Shyamalan - is currently projected to earn a massive $70 million in its January opening weekend. Shyamalan's career has certainly seen lots of ups and downs so far, but it looks like the filmmaker's latest will continue a recent upswing in popularity. Shyamalan of course first captured the imagination of moviegoers with his 1999 ghost tale The Sixth Sense, which sports one of the most talked about twist endings in movie history. Based on the critical and commercial success of The Sixth Sense, many were ready to label Shyamalan the next Alfred Hitchcock, although it didn't quite work out that way.
Shyamalan's unorthodox superhero origin story Unbreakable also earned mostly positive appraisals, as did 2002's Signs, which pit a pre-controversy Mel Gibson and family against a group of invading aliens. It seems like most started to turn on Shyamalan's work after 2004's The Village, which drew much derision for its disappointing and deflating final twist. From there, a string of duds - Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth - looked like it might kill Shyamalan's career dead.
Thankfully, things began to turn around for the director with 2015's found footage effort The Visit, and 2017's Split received nearly universal acclaim for both Shyamalan and his lead actor James McAvoy. Split was revealed late in the game to be sort of a stealth sequel to Unbreakable, and its success opened the door to 2019's Glass, a follow-up to both Unbreakable and Split's stories that stars McAvoy, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson. Anyone doubting that Glass could match the enormous financial success of Split - which earned $278 million worldwide on a $9 million budget - now has reason to change their view, as Variety reports that new projections have Glass opening somewhere between $70 and $75 million domestically.
While Variety's report cautions that some other sources are estimating a more conservative opening take for Glass that's around $50 million, even that number would make Shyamalan's film the second-highest opener ever for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, behind only director Clint Eastwood's 2015 biopic American Sniper. Glass would take over second place from the Kevin Hart and Ice Cube buddy comedy Ride Along, which opened to $48 million in 2014.
With Glass' $20 million production budget, the film will likely turn a profit almost instantly for producer Blumhouse and distributor Universal, even after marketing costs are factored in. An opening in the $70-75 million range projected above would also smash through Split's domestic opening total of $40 million. Considering that Split made about half of its profits overseas, international grosses will also probably help ensure an even bigger profit margin. Shyamalan says he doesn't plan to make a sequel to Glass, so it'll be interesting to see what new, original project he'll be able to get bankrolled next.
- Glass (2019) release date: Jan 18, 2019