Box Office Prediction - xXx: Return of Xander Cage vs. Split

2017 Box Office - Return of Xander Cage vs Split

Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.

For a recap of last week's box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from The Bye Bye Man's opening weekend, and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our picks matched up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of January 20 - 22, 2017.

This weekend, Split opens in 3,037 theaters, xXx: Return of Xander Cage debuts in 3,651 locations, and The Founder expands to 1,100 theaters.

#1 - Split

Our pick for first is Split (read our review), the new psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan. The director has rather publicly had his fair share of ups and downs throughout his career, but fortunately he seems to be in the midst of a comeback. In 2015, his film The Visit was a success, grossing $65.2 million domestically on just a $5 million budget. That film also earned mostly positive reviews, setting the stage for Shyamalan to return to his roots in a more traditional manner (read: not found footage) with Split, which stars James McAvoy as a person with 23 distinct split personalities.

Split has a lot of things working in its favor. For starters, the reviews are Syamalan's best since 2002's Signs, and his now trademark twist ending has become a major talking point within the film community. This gives Split the feeling of something that should be seen in theaters (to not miss out on the conversation), which should only help its commercial prospects. Additionally, McAvoy's performance has received raves across the board, with many calling it a brave and daring turn. January is typically not known for showcases of phenomenal acting, so cinephiles could be inclined to see Split if only for what McAvoy does. There also isn't much competition for horror fans, meaning Split pretty much has the market to itself. Opening weekend projections are set at $25.5 million, which is in line with The Visit.

James McAvoy in M. Night Shymalan's Split

#2 - xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Coming in second should be xXx: Return of Xander Cage (read our review). The film is the third installment in the xXx series and the first since the 2002 original to star Vin Diesel. Thanks to the success of the Fast and Furious franchise, Diesel has become one of this generation's favorite action heroes, but he isn't always the most bankable. Whenever he's not playing Dominic Toretto, Diesel struggles to attract large crowds. For instance, The Last Witch Hunter made only $27.3 million for its entire domestic run, while Riddick mustered just $42 million. Contrast those figures with Fast and Furious 6 and Furious 7, it seems like Diesel isn't the lone reason people see those movies.

It should be more of the same for Return of Xander Cage. The first film made $142.1 million total 15 years ago, but it didn't exactly become a new action classic, and 2005's xXx: State of the Union did more harm than good to the overall brand. It's been so long since the series was on the big screen, chances are there is not much demand or interest in seeing Xander Cage come back for more extreme stunts. The initial reaction certainly will not help matters, as most critics are writing the film off as a disposable action sequel that doesn't bring much to the table. Tracking indicates an $18 million opening weekend.

#3 - Hidden Figures

Look for last week's champ, Hidden Figures, (read our review) to fall to third this weekend. The space race drama has topped the box office the last two frames, capitalizing on its strong word-of-mouth and awards buzz. With Oscar nominations on the horizon, movie fans will definitely be interested in checking Hidden Figures out as they try to catch up on all the contenders. Since it's been out for a little bit, the film probably won't be able to contend with the new arrivals, but it should still have another fruitful weekend and keep posting strong numbers.

Hidden Figures

#4 - La La Land

Our pick for fourth is La La Land (read our review), which continues to do very well at the box office as it racks up various accolades. At this point, there isn't much else to be said about the film's commercial performance. With awards season now in the thick of things, there's no reason to expect the musical to slide far down the charts.

#5 - Sing

Rounding out the top five should be Sing (read our review). As the only real option available for families at the moment, it'll be able to extend its monopoly over that demographic for at least another week.

 Last Week's Recap

Our Picks:

  1. Hidden Figures
  2. Patriots Day
  3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  4. Sing
  5. La La Land


  1. Hidden Figures
  2. La La Land
  3. Sing
  4. The Bye Bye Man
  5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


Next Week: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Gold, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office (Opening Weekend Projections)

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