Weekend Wrap Up: Neeson’s Success is “Non-Stop”

After three weekends on top, it seemed likely that The Lego Movie would finally relinquish its hold of the box office crown. Its main competition came from Liam Neeson, once again in his new niche as an action star, in Non-Stop, while Son of God acted as a darkhorse in the race for the top. In the end, it was a close race to the top, but Neeson prevailed over the competition.



Opening well above Unknown, The Grey and the original Taken, Liam Neeson’s latest, Non-Stop, pulled in an impressive $30 million in its debut weekend. That’s a solid number, one that that was achieved by a somewhat interesting premise and the sheer gravitas that Neeson brings to roles like this. Reviews aren’t bad and word of mouth seems decent so far. $100 million is probably unlikely, but a strong total around $85 million could be in store.

Son of God is a bit of an oddity in that it’s basically just scenes from the miniseries The Bible recut into a motion picture. Despite, or perhaps because of that, the film opened to a very respectable $26.5 million. Reviews weren’t kind, but I don’t expect that will matter much. The Christian season of Lent is about to begin and Easter isn’t terribly far away, so Son of God could find some pretty solid legs on its box office run.

The Lego Movie got pushed down to third by the two newcomers, but still managed a very impressive $21 million, a great gross for a film in its fourth weekend. It was down 33%. With a total of $209 million, I wouldn’t quite say $300 million is a guarantee, especially with Mr. Peabody and Sherman opening next weekend, but no matter what happens, TLM will be a definite success.

Sliding 37%, The Monuments Men pulled in $5 million. With $65.7 million in the bank, disaster has been averted, but it’s still unlikely this film will be terribly profitable. Unsurprisingly, 3 Days to Kill crashed 60% in its second weekend. $4.9 million brings its weak total to $20.7 million. RoboCop continued to erode, dropping 54% and pulling in $4.5 million. That lifts its total gross to $51.2 million.

Pompeii got buried under ash this weekend, falling 58% to $4.3 million. Just $17.7 million for a film that cost $100 million to produce. Staying in eighth place, Frozen eased just 18% to $3.6 million. This flick has been in the top ten for an incredible fourteen weeks. And it will probably have one or two left, especially if it gets a boost from some Oscar wins. It really, really should win both Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.

Two Kevin Hart movies round out the top ten. About Last Night fell 55% and grossed $3.4 million to lift its sum to $43.8 million. And the ride comes to an end for Ride Along, which fell 34% to $3.1 million. Its total of $127.2 million is about $100 million more than its production budget. The Oscars should impact both movie-going this weekend (because people will be watching the ceremony instead of going to movies) and in the future, because a few Oscar wins can give a nice boost. Or coming home empty-handed might expedite a film’s decline. Either way, it should be interesting.

Next weekend sees the release of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, which I don’t expect to be a breakout hit, but it could decent numbers, especially as The Lego Movie winds down. A debut around $35 million could be in store. And then we also have a totally unnecessary, Gerard Butler-less sequel to 300, which is likely to bomb and might open to as little as $20 million. Until we meet again.

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