M Night Shyamalan is one of the most famous directors in films currently, but that doesn’t mean all of his movies deliver. After earning raves for ‘The Sixth Sense’ and follow-ups like ‘Unbreakable’, films like ‘The Happening’, ‘Lady in the Water’ and ‘The Village’ earned scorn, and big-budget studio projects like ‘The Last Airbender‘ and ‘After Earth‘ flopped hard. However, he managed to make a comeback with low-budget surprise hits like ‘The Visit’ and ‘Split’. The twist this time is that Shyamalan paid to make those movies himself, with the money he made off of his earlier hits plus personal bank loans. And that continues with his latest effort, ‘Glass’ opening this weekend.
According to Forbes, like ‘The Visit’ and ‘Split’, ‘Glass’ was made with a tiny budget of $20 million, which Shyamalan acquired by putting his Pennsylvania estate up as collateral. He made more from his prior self-financed movies than they cost to make, but $20 million is a little steeper. The budget for ‘The Visit’ was just $5 million, while ‘Split’ cost $9 million. So ‘Glass’ needs to do quite a bit better in order to… well, from the sound of things, in order that Shyamalan doesn’t wind up living in a cardboard box.
But that’s not going to happen. Despite scathing reviews– 34% on Rotten Tomatoes– ‘Glass’ is projected to shatter $105 million worldwide in its first weekend. Cha-ching!
Usually, filmmakers have to self-finance early in their careers. At this point, Shyamalan is a pretty established name, and one of the few directors whose name is known by the general public. Then again, he made ‘The Happening’, so he isn’t a sure bet.
But it’s incredibly admirable that a filmmaker with a pretty decent proven track record is putting up his own money to finance films that he is passionate about making.
What do you think? Will you be catching ‘Glass’ this weekend?