Do Liam Neeson’s particular set of skills involving beating Jesus to the top of the American box office pile? It would appear that they do, because mid-air thriller Non-Stop has survived a mixed critical reaction to land at the top of the charts for this Oscar weekend.
The new thriller, which re-teams Neeson with his Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra, finds him squarely in his current Action Man comfort zone, and audiences obviously wanted to see him put the hurt on more bad guys. The film took in $30 million in the US alone, which might not quite be on a par with the second Taken, but improves on Unknown’s launch. We firmly expect development of 17 different vehicles for Neeson’s gruff bullet-flinging type to crank into development once Monday dawns. Jesus, meanwhile, managed many miracles, but he didn’t make it past Neeson and co, with new Biblical pic Son Of God nonetheless drawing enough disciples to earn $26.5 million for second place. Perhaps if he’d arrived over Easter, he might have scored an even better position.
With the two new arrivals doing strong business, The Lego Movie (which could also be counted as a Liam-Neeson-Does-Action-Even-If-It's-Animated-Film) had to make room, but it remained a fantastic performer, earning $21 million despite four weeks on release. It has now soared past $209 million in the US alone and is over $300 million worldwide and counting. The Monuments Men managed to jump up one place, finding fourth with $5 million, while Kevin-Costner-Tries-A-Neeson thriller 3 Days To Kill fell from second to fifth and $4.9 million. With a little over $20 million in the States so far, Costner clearly doesn't have quite the same earning power.
At sixth place we find the remodelled RoboCop, taking in $4.5 million, with Pompeii sliding to seventh and $4.3 million. Frozen once more used Elsa’s ice powers to cling like an icicle in a polar vortex to eighth, making $3.6 million despite its impending release on Blu-ray and digital formats, meaning it has just passed the $1 billion mark worldwide. About Last Night fell to ninth with $3.4 million and the charts’ other current Kevin Hart film, cop comedy Ride Along, sank to 10th with $3 million.
To see the full chart information before someone texts it to you on a plane, head to Box Office Mojo.