Box Office: ‘Non-Stop’ Soars Past ‘Son of God,’ ‘Lego Movie’ With $30 Million Weekend Opening

Non Stop Film Review

Universal's Liam Neeson-actioner, Fox’s Biblical drama crumble 'Lego Movie's' three-week streak

Universal’s Liam Neeson-starrer “Non-Stop” looks to be unstoppable this Oscar weekend.

With an expected $30 million weekend bow, the action-thriller is on track to crumble Warner Bros.-Village Roadshow’s “The Lego Movie.” Neeson is up against himself at the B.O. as he voiced Bad Cop/Good Cop/Pa Cop in “Lego.”

Aside from breaking the toon’s three-week winning streak, the pic is also stopping Fox’s “Son of God” in its tracks. “Non-Stop” took $10 million Friday, while “Son of God” secured $9.4 million, putting it on track for $25 million. “Lego,” on the other hand, earned $4.4 million (down about 39%). This will likely raise its domestic cume to $192.7 million.

The win, which exceeds already high expectations, further solidifies Neeson’s status as a bona fide box office draw. “Non-Stop” (budgeted at $50 million) flew above the B.O. gross of “Taken,” the film that reinvigorated his action career. The first movie made $24 million in 2009 over Super Bowl weekend and went on to gross $145 million domestically. Its sequel opened to more than double that amount, $49 million, in 2012, but finished with a bit less Stateside at $140 million.

However, “Non-Stop” — produced and financed by StudioCanal and Joel Silver — is not flying in friendly skies; “Son of God” is hot on its trail. Christopher Spencer’s look at the life of Jesus could be looking at near-eternal life in the coming weeks as church groups and other religious institutions are buying tickets in bulk to organize group outings and theater take-overs. In fact, Colorado’s Compassion International bought tickets for churches in 40 cities across the nation. This trend could rise next month leading up to Easter Sunday on April 20.

The faith-based pic opened to a joyful $1.2 million Thursday night, overtaking “Non-Stop”s $720,000. Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have aggressively promoted the project, which is based on their five-part miniseries “The Bible.” The show was ratings gold for the History Channel last March.

In their second weekend, Relativity’s “3 Days to Kill” and Sony’s “Pompeii” are expected to fall behind another Sony pic, “Monuments Men.” “3 Days” will likely gross $4.8 million by Sunday, which would bring its cume to $20.6 million, while “Pompeii” could reel in $3.9. “Monuments” is inching past both, en route to nabbing fourth place with $5 million.

While “3 Days” seems to be locked in at fifth, Sony-MGM’s “RoboCop” will likely beat out “Pompeii” for the sixth slot. “About Last Night,” “Ride Along” and “Frozen” should round out the top 10.

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  1. bisonweb says:

    Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological world everything is presented on web?

  2. profnickd says:

    Only in the la-la land that is Hollywood would the villains be a 9/11 family member and a member of the armed forces, and one of the heroes a traditional Muslim.

  3. ‘Non Stop’ is dumb, but enjoyable. There’s a good review for it here:

  4. Julienne says:

    Um-HELLO…today’s Sunday…there’s still another 10 hours of tickets to be sold.

  5. FYI re: Son of God’s performance

    Yes it is on pace to do round $25 million with Neeson’s Non-Stop winning with $30m- a difference of 5million.

    But the writer and Chelsea should be comparing Son of God’s performance to another religious film that opened approximately this same weekend: ‘Passion of the Christ’ with $83 million which went on to earn $370 million domestically. I ‘d hardly expect a TV show extracting out a singular portion of a ten hour mini series to earn any where near what Passion finished with.

  6. chelsea says:

    Ok writer let’s get realistic. To say Non-stop “soars” over Son of God is a dramatic overstatement it’s only $600,000 which is nothing by studio standards. You obviously are biased so do your job and report in a bipartisan fashion.

  7. “Christopher Spencer’s look at the life of Jesus be looking at near-eternal life…?”

    Um, who wrote this?

    • Michael Anthony says:

      That’s typical Variety “speak”. The author is noted after title. Its actually a pretty good description. If the movie does well until Easter, then they’ll say it has “legs”.

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