M. Night Shyalaman is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, and actor. He is best known for making movies with supernatural plots and twist endings. Shyalaman began his career in the early 1990s and rose to fame when he directed “The Sixth Sense.” Since then, he has directed a lot of successful films. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his films have earned over $3 billion at the global box office. Shyalaman’s net worth primarily comes from his directing career. With the money from his films, he bought some assets we will mention later. To understand how he achieved his net worth, we have to track his career from the beginning below.
His Success Began With His 1998 Screenplay Called Wide Awake
In 1993, he wrote, directed, and starred in a film titled “Praying With Anger.” The film was about an Indian-American returning to India for college. When it was released, it received little attention from the audience. In the same year, he sold his screenplay “Labor of Love” to Fox. The actor wanted to direct the film, but Fox allegedly barred him from doing so. As a result, his project did not take off. In 1995, the director met up with Miramax. During this time, Miramax was an up-and-coming independent film studio. He managed to sell Wide Awake to the studio. According to Biography, he sold it for $250,000. The film is about a boy who begins to search for God after the demise of his grandfather. Although the movie received positive feedback, it did not draw many people as he expected.
He Gained International Recognition With The Sixth Sense in 1999
The Sixth Sense is a psychological horror film that revolves around a boy who claims to see dead people. To help the boy cope with his problem, a child psychologist is hired for him. This movie became very successful at the box office. According to Hollywood Reporter, it earned $672.8 million worldwide. It became the second-highest grossing film of 1999 after Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace with $1.03 billion. This movie received six nominations at the 72nd Academy Awards. The nominations included awards for best film, director, screenplay, supporting actor for Osment, and supporting actress for Collette.
He Was Successful With His 2000 Film Unbreakable
Unbreakable tells the story of a security guard who survives a high-fatality train crash. In fact, he does not get any scars. As he wonders how he survived, he meets a stranger who tells him he is unbreakable. He soon realizes that he is a superhero. When it was released in 2,708 American theatres, it earned $30.33 million in its opening weekend. Later, the film grossed $248.12 million.
He Became Even More Successful With His 2002 Film Signs
In Signs, a farmer discovers patterns of circles and lines carved into his crops. He begins to investigate the cause of the phenomenon. After watching the news, he realizes that the phenomenon is happening worldwide. He begins to think that aliens may be causing the phenomena. This film generated $227.9 million domestically. Globally, the film grossed $408.2 million, which means that it made a massive profit. This film operated on a $70.7 million budget. Interestingly, it made much more money than The Sixth Sense despite not being as popular.
After a Struggling Film Career, He Finally Became Successful With His 2016 Movie Split
Once Signs became commercially successful, he would struggle to match up its success. It all began when he released his 2004 film, In The Village. The film received mixed reviews, and he fell short of his previous box office success. He then made underperforming films like The Happening (2008), The Last AirBender (2010), and After Earth (2013). People began to question whether he would last long in the industry. Fortunately, Shyalaman is not one to give up. He finally got his breakthrough with Split. Split focuses on a man diagnosed with 23 distinct personalities. Due to his personality disorder, he abducts three girls. The girls must escape before the frightful 24th personality appears. The movie was a commercial success, as it grossed $278 million globally. This was yet another film that made massive profits, considering it was made on a $9 million budget.
His 2019 Film Glass Was Also a Success
Glass is a crossover and sequel to Unbreakable and Split. The story focuses on David Dunn, who pursues Kevin Wendell, the man with 24 personalities. Shyalaman used $20 million of his money to make the film. His gamble paid off since the film made $200 million worldwide. Despite the film’s success, the audience was let down by it. One issue the audience had with the film was the convoluted and unsatisfying twists.
He Became Lucky With His 2021 Film Old
Old is a thriller about a family that goes on vacation on a secluded beach. Soon, they realize that the beach causes them to age rapidly. This film made $90 million worldwide against an $18 million budget. Like Glass, this film was successful despite polarizing reviews from critics.
Shyalaman purchased Ravenwood house in 2005 for $17.9 million. The house is a 125-acre estate west of Philadelphia. It is constructed majorly from red brick. Shyalaman and his wife renovated his house after seeking help from Richard Cameron, a home designer. The resulting house had 17,000 square feet of living space. Besides this house, he owns a penthouse in Manhattan. In 2012, he sold it for $9.5 million. He originally purchased it in 2003 for $6.3 million. The penthouse contains a floating limestone staircase with bronze custom-sculpted railings.
If you have watched Shyalaman’s films, you will understand why he is successful. His films tend to be suspenseful, despite some not doing well at the box office. Even though some films did not do well, you cannot help but admire his determination. Some people in his position would have ventured to other career paths after several failed films. His determination to continue directing is what has made him successful until now. Had he stopped directing, he may not have been as successful as he is now.
Written by Allen Lee
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