Jason Blum is the best thing to happen to M. Night Shyamalan’s career since The Sixth Sense. After years of making increasingly expensive, critically derided movies (After Earth, The Last Airbender, The Happening), Shyamalan brought the low-budget horror film, The Visit to Blumhouse Productions in 2015. Not only was it Shyamalan’s best film in 15 years, the return on investment was huge. It earned $95 million worldwide on a $5 million budget. It also resuscitated Shyamalan’s flailing career.
This weekend, Shyamalan returned with another Blumhouse Production, Split, and the results were even better. The film, which stars James McAvoy as a man with 23 distinct personalities, was again intimate and small in scale, and again, it cost only $5 million to produce. It earned around $40 million in its opening weekend, landing in the top spot. Without giving away too much to those who haven’t seen Split yet, it also set up a tantalizing future prospect for longtime Shyamalan fans. With high critics scores (76 percent on Rotten Tomotoes), a huge opening weekend, and the possibility of a sequel, it was a unqualified success for Shyamalan, and the film’s post-credits sequence should keep viewers coming out for a few more weeks, at least.