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'Split' stays atop box office

By JAKE COYLE Associated Press

NEW YORK -- M. Night Shyamalan's multiple-personality thriller "Split" led the box office for a third-straight week, an unusual streak for a low-budget horror film.

According to studio estimates Sunday, "Split" came out on top again with $14.6 million in North American ticket sales, bringing the Universal Pictures release's three-week haul to $98.7 million.

The run for the Universal Pictures release has come in an especially slow period at multiplexes. Hollywood traditionally skips significant new releases on Super Bowl weekend due to the game's enormous television audience.

Surely hurt by the continued strength of "Split," Paramount's horror option, "Rings," came in second with an estimated $13 million. The sequel was an attempted revival the dormant franchise begun with 2002's "The Ring" and followed up with 2005's "The Ring Two."

That release, though, opened with $35.1 million. Like "Independence Day Resurgence," ''Bad Santa 2" and many more, "Rings" served as yet another questionable decision to recharge a franchise long out of theaters. It cost a relatively minimal $25 million to make and pulled in $15.2 million internationally over the weekend.

But it won't come close to the $249.3 million the first installment made globally, or the $161.5 million "The Ring Two" made.

The weekend's other debut, "The Space Between Us," flopped altogether. The STX Entertainment release, starring Asa Butterfield as a boy who comes to Earth after being raised by astronauts on Mars, made a mere $3.8 million.

Universal's "A Dog's Purpose" came in third with $10.8 million in its second weekend. Audiences have largely shrugged off the outcry over a leaked video from the film's production of a frightened German shepherd being urged into churning water.

Several Oscar contenders continued to pad their totals. "Hidden Figures" earned $10.1 million for a seven-week total of $119.4 million. "La La Land" added $7.5 million to bring its domestic total to $118.3 million in nine weeks of release.

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included.

1. "Split," $14.6 million ($14.6 million international).

2. "Rings," $13 million ($15.2 million international).

3. "A Dog's Purpose," $10.8 million.

4. "Hidden Figures," $10.1 million.

5. "La La Land," $7.5 million.

6. "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter," $4.5 million.

7. "Sing," $4.1 million.

8. "Lion," $4 million.

9. "The Space Between Us," $3.8 million.

10. "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage," $3.7 million ($12.4 million international).

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