Los Angeles (AFP) - "Split," a thriller about a man who imprisons three teenage girls in an underground bunker, topped the North American box office over the weekend, earning a surprising $40 million, industry figures showed Monday.
The movie -- directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the Indian American director also responsible for the "Sixth Sense" and other films in the horror genre -- stars James McAvoy as a man with 23 different personalities who abducts three girls.
A Vin Diesel action flick, "XXX: Return of Xander Cage," opened in second place with $20.1 million, the box office monitor Exhibitor Relations said.
The car-chase, sex-laden movie is the third in the Xander Cage franchise and the second to star muscleman Diesel.
"Hidden Figures," a story about three black women mathematicians who helped NASA put the first men in space, ended its two-week run as the number one film and was in third place this weekend, selling $15.7 million in tickets.
The Fox film, a biographical comedy-drama based on a book of the same name, stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, whose characters must deal with workplace segregation in the 1950s and 1960s.
Universal's animated musical "Sing" was in fourth place with a $9 million take over the weekend.
In fifth place was "La La Land," a nostalgic tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals. It earned an estimated $8.4 million this weekend after garnering a boatload of accolades, including a record eight Golden Globes earlier this month.
Rounding out the Top 10 are:
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" ($7.2 million)
"Monster Trucks" ($7.1 million)
"Patriots Day" ($5.8 million)
"Sleepless" ($3.5 million)
"The Bye Bye Man" ($3.4 million)