M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller Split has edged out the competition for a third week in a row atop the North American box office.
The film, which stars James McAvoy as a mentally-ill kidnapper with 23 different personalities, earned $14.6 million this past weekend, bringing its total domestic takings to $98.7 million on a $9 million budget.
Split has also received mostly positive reviews since its January release, despite the fact that Shyamalan came under fire from mental health experts over the movie’s portrayal of a multiple identity disorder sufferer as a violent and dangerous criminal.
He had previously dismissed the controversy, telling Yahoo Movies, “We’ve had no issues from people that have seen the finished film, just zero. It’s all taken in the right light, and they feel moved and honored by the way (McAvoy) portrays the different (personalities).”
Split‘s narrowly beat out the Atlanta-filmed Rings, which entered the new countdown at two with $13 million. The film, which has been panned by critics, is the latest release in the revived horror franchise, which first scared up a storm in 2002 with The Ring, and again in 2005 with The Ring Two.
Rounding out the top five was A Dog’s Purpose in third place, Hidden Figures in at four, and our personal favorite La La Land in at fifth.