‘Non-Stop’ Muscles Strong B.O. in First Stop of Worldwide Tour

Liam Neeson starrer debuts in France with $669,000 first-day takings

Non Stop

Bowing this Friday via Universal Pictures in the U.S., Liam Neeson starrer “Non-Stop,” helmed by Jaume Collet-Serra, world premiered Feb. 26 in France to a total first-day of 80,000 tickets sold, or about €506,000 ($693,000), from 442 screens.

Result was better than previous Neeson actioners “Taken” (first-day in France of $440,000 from 350 screens) and “Unknown” ($525,000 in its first day of release in France on 349   screens), but significantly below “Taken 2,” “which surged to an out-of-the gate first day of $1.9 million on a wider release of 550 screens. It cumed a total $24.4 million in Gaul.

“It’s not a huge start, but it is promising. The appetite for Liam Neeson in big action movies doesn’t look fully satisfied,” said Eric Marti, general manager, Rentrak France.

“Non-Stop” ranked No. 2 Wednesday, after Dany Boon’s “Superchondriac,” which made a boffo start, and ahead of “The Grand Hotel Budapest.”

With its audiences skewing sensibly older than those in the U.S. — or indeed Russia and Latin America — France is not a reliable bellwether for the box office of action-thrillers  in territories where they traditionally find far larger favor.

“Non-Stop” bows Feb. 27 in Australia and New Zealand, Feb. 28 in the U.K. and March 13 in Germany, with Studiocanal distributing in all three territories in its first near simultaneous release of a fully-financed film across all of the territories where it runs distribution operations. Pic opens Feb. 28 in the U.S.