Ever since “The Sixth Sense” was released in 1999, the movie industry and audience have held its director M. Night Shyamalan as a filmmaker to look out for, with his penchant for surprising twists and turns in otherwise ordinary-seeming supernatural thrillers. Then the admiration began to dim when some of his later movies began bombing critically and in the box office. There are some reviewers who think his more recent products are a return to form, though opinions remain divided. It is known however is that his latest offering “Old,” premiered this past weekend, is off to a good start.
According to Variety, there is a new box office king in cinemas stateside as of July 25. That was when M. Night Shyamalan’s newest twisty thriller “Old” was released by Universal Pictures on July 23. Its initial weekend box office take of $16.5 million was enough to end the reign of Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” while also foiling fellow first-weekender, the “G.I. Joe” film reboot “Snake Eyes” from MGM and Paramount. This came in contrast to earlier projections that “New Legacy” and “Snake Eyes” will be competing for the North American top spot in theaters. In a twist akin to Shyamalan’s style, “Old” stole the box office.
Then again, $16.5-M is piddling compared to what Shyamalan’s past productions have raked in. But the general movie-going situation especially in the US remains a tossup in prospects. The rise of COVID-19 cases particularly in America’s movie central, Los Angeles, have forced a reinstatement of the facemask regulation, especially as only have of the country’s population are fully vaccinated. Another thing that has helped theater earnings the previous weekend was that both “Old” and “Snake Eyes” did not follow the example of “Space Jam” or Marvel’s “Black Widow” in simultaneous cinema-streaming releases, ensuring that the money goes to movie tickets.
“Old” stars Gael Garcia Bernal as a family man about to divorce his wife, taking her and their son and daughter to one last family vacation at a resort with a secluded beach. Upon arriving, he, his family and other vacationers already there discover that they cannot leave the area, and that they are aging rapidly. The M. Night Shyamalan twist in this plot is not as epic as his earlier works, but it seems to get the job done where ticket sales are concerned.
Meanwhile, “Snake Eyes” finished second in NA’s July 23-25 period with $13.3 million, “Black Widow” is at third with $11.6 million, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” got fourth earning just $9.5 million that weekend, and “F9” was fifth, $4.7 million.
Image from The New Yorker