In 2000, the American screenwriter, actor, and director, M. Night Shyamalan, known for his unconventional filmmaking styles and plot twist, introduced us to a security guard, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and comic book art dealer, Elijah Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) as men who believe they have super-human abilities, in Unbreakable. Their exploits continued in the surprising slasher film Split (2016) with Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) who has 23 personalities. With the final installment in the Eastrail 177 Trilogy, Glass (2019), we got to know how their stories connect. The film series was made on a total budget of $104 million and grossed over $773 million at the box office. His films, though not all have found favor with critics, have made an aggregate of more than $3 billion at the box office, positively affecting M.Night Shyamalan’s net worth.
Shyamalan’s Career Achievements
Coming from a family of medical practitioners, all eyes were on him to continue in the family career tradition but M. Night Shyamalan had other plans. He is the son of Indian parents, Dr. Nelliyattu C. Shyamalan, a neurologist and his mother Dr. Jayalakshmi, an OBGYN. The Shyamalans immigrated to Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, 6 weeks after his birth. He was born in Mahé, Puducherry, India, on 6th August 1970.
Shyamalan got interested in filmmaking at a very young age after he received a Super 8 Camera. Moreover, he is a superfan of veteran filmmaker, Steven Spielberg. He started making movies from then and by the time he was 17, he had made 45 home movies. He enrolled into New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts on a Merit Scholarship in 1988, graduating in 1992. Named Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan, he adopted “Night” as his middle name while studying at NYU, perhaps to suit the genre he would specialize in – horror.
He kicked off his directorial career with the film Praying with Anger (1992) while still in college and then the comedy-drama film Wide Awake in 1998. In 1999, Shyamalan had his breakthrough and rose to international recognition with the supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense. The film was a critical success and commercial phenomenon, grossing over $672 million worldwide against a budget of $40 million. It became the second-highest-grossing film of 1999, as well as the highest-grossing horror film (in unadjusted dollars) until It came in 2017.
Additionally, it was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. The Sixth Sense established him as a writer and director and introduced moviegoers to his traits; stunning storytelling and his affinity for twisted endings. He followed up the masterpiece with the superhero thriller Unbreakable in 2000, not the conventional superhero film. This outing also received critical acclaims and was also a box office hit.
The cult-favorite director went on to make several other well-received and box-office successful films, including the sci-fi thriller Signs (2002) and the period horror flick The Village (2004). The Village, featuring Joaquin Phoenix, received 21 Award nominations with four wins.
Shyamalan has also had a number of big-budget flops, including the dark fantasy, The Lady In Water in 2006, the psychological thriller The Happening in 2008, The Last Airbender (2010) which is considered one of his most expensive failures, alongside the post-apocalyptic sci-fi action film, After Earth (2013), starring Will Smith and his son, Jaden Smith.
Following these strings of critical failure, Shyamalan returned to his low-budget roots for the 2015 found-footage film The Visit. The film, along with the psychological thriller Split (2016), became the revival he needed at that point in his career. The films undoubtedly reminded fans and moviegoers of his earlier thriller masterpieces. Also, his recent release, Glass (2019), though panned by critics, showcased him at his very best and most ambitious.
Added to his work as a director, M. Night Shyamalan produced the 2010 horror film Devil, executive-produced, as well as directed the pilot episode of the Fox sci-fi series Wayward Pines (2015–2016). He also has a production company, Blinding Edge Pictures which has produced some of his movies.
M.Night Shyamalan’s Net Worth Since His Unbreakable Film Series
With years of experience under his belt, one never knows what to expect when it comes to Shyamalan’s films. Every potential release leaves moviegoers anxious to see what he has in store. While some of his releases do not sit well with reviews, most, if not all, have done well at the box office. All his films since The Sixth Sense, which remains his highest-grossing film till date, has been insanely successful, commercially.
Unbreakable grossed over $240 million at the worldwide box office against a $75 million budget. Its sequel, Split broke through with very little problem, earning more than $278 million worldwide against a budget of only $9 million. It also found favor with critics, scoring a whopping 76% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Made on a budget of $20 million, the next film – Glass grossed $247 million worldwide, marking the third-best total of M. Night Shyamalan’s career.
Going by the success of his filmmaking endeavors, M. Night Shyamalan’s earning has greatly increased. He has an estimated net worth of $50 million which would definitely appreciate in coming years if he stays true to his form.