Audiences went crazy when M. Night Shyamalan revealed that Split took place in the same universe as the 2000 sleeper hit Unbreakable. The latter movie, a smart deconstruction of superheroes with a great central performance by Bruce Willis, has aged exceptionally well and is more relevant these days than it was on its original release.
Personally, I was over the moon when they announced that this final scene was going to be expanded into Glass, which will bring together Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price (aka Mr. Glass), Bruce Willis’ David Dunn and James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendell Crumb. The subsequent trailers and promotional materials make it look like it’s going to live up to its innate promise, and it sounds like audiences are hungry to see the film.
Early box office projections have it raking in $50 million or so on the weekend following its January 18th release (aided by the four-day long Martin Luthor King Jr. Day weekend). But other industry sources have it pegged at a whopping $75 million opening, which would make Blumhouse Productions very happy indeed.
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Despite coming with some sizable star power, Glass has a relatively small budget, and while it won’t trouble 2019 superhero behemoths like Avengers: Endgame or Captain Marvel, it’s all but guaranteed to turn in a sizable profit. That was the case with Split, after all, which was made for just $9 million and ended up with a $278 million box office haul, making it one of the most profitable releases of 2017.
If Glass does similar business, then perhaps other studios will pay attention and try to emulate its success. I’d love to see a renaissance in smaller-scale superhero movies with a bit more stylistic and narrative experimentation. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Marvel Studios films, but you don’t want to eat a Big Mac for every meal, right?