Glass arrives in theaters this weekend, the first January movie release of note. The third installment in M. Night Shyamalan's superhero trilogy, this movie is fascinating from a marketing and audience standpoint, because the original two films in the series were marketed as anything but. Unfortunately, for those who were hoping for a brand new franchise dynasty from the auteur director, the Glass ratings aren't great. But that's not surprising. (Shyamalan hasn't gotten good reviews since the mid-aughts.) What should get everyone's attention is, according to box office predictions, this movie is going to be a monster.
Unbreakable, the first in the trilogy, arrived in 2000, focused on David Dunn (Bruce Willis), a mutant who would have fit right in with the X-Men. But it was unthinkable to bill Unbreakable as anything but an arty film made by the auteur director of the critically-acclaimed The Sixth Sense. That the movie was shot to imitate comic book panels was part of the art.
Unbreakable scored a 62 percent rating at the time, and Shyamalan went on to make other things. He didn't return to the story until 2017's Split, which was a surprise-twist sequel. It landed a 76 percent rating. Unfortunately, these fresh ratings aren't holding for the third installment, which current lands at a 42 percent splat.
The problem is Shyamalan has not kept up with the times. The film behaves like it is 2002, introducing the concept of superheroes to the world, in a year where no less than nine live-action superhero films will be released.
Variety is kinder than most:
The movie, watchable as it is, is still a disappointment, because it extends and belabors the conceits of Unbreakable without the sensation of mystical dark discovery that made that film indelible.
Watching Glass is like going to the movies with that one friend who cannot help leaning over to whisper one banal observation after another into your ear, and then leaning back satisfied that he's just blown your mind.
Consequence of Sound says this movie is beyond two-thousand-and-late.
It's all so antiquated, grooving by with the swagger of Billy Madison sidling up to Generation Xers in an REO Speedwagon shirt. Glass is not just late on arrival, but dead on arrival, and the collateral damage is two solid films and one comeback.
But none of this matters, according to box office prognosticators. The long build-up, the lack of competition, and the holiday weekend lead to box office predictions of a smash hit.
The 2019 box office is set to wake up this weekend with its first, truly fire-breathing event film, Glass, from two-time Oscar nominee M. Night Shyamalan. It is looking at a $105 million-$120 million global start, inclusive of the four-day MLK holiday in the U.S.
Deadline believes $60-70 million of that will come from the domestic box office here at home. This is a huge jump for the series, considering Unbreakable and Split opened at $30 million and $40 million respectively. But the combination of Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, and Bruce Willis looks like it might just be unbreakable.
Glass opens in theaters worldwide on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019.