Will it take a miracle for a film to knock off three-week champ, The LEGO Movie? In actuality, The LEGO Movie faces its biggest threat (or two) at the box office this weekend. Between Liam Neeson’s Non-Stop and religious film, Son of God, there could be a new headliner to go forward into March.
Hijacking 3,090 theaters starting Friday, Non-Stop is the latest film about unexpected turmoil on a commercial plane. This time around, Liam Neeson stars as Bill Marks, a federal air marshal, who receives texts threatening those on board. The anonymous terrorist demands $150 million wired to a bank account. The catch is its the air marshal’s account.
Non-Stop comes from director Jaume Collet-Serra, who brought us 2005’s House of Wax as well as Orphan and Unknown. None of those films opened large. However, Non-Stop does have Liam Neeson and he’s recently been the go-to guy if studios are searching for an older action hero. Taken, Taken 2 and The Grey all earned Neeson a trip to the top spot.
Non-Stop starts its Thursday night showings at 8 p.m., which could push its weekend total north of $25 million.
Also due out this Friday is Son of God, depicting the life of Jesus Christ. Son of God follows in the footsteps of The Passion of the Christ (which marked its 10th anniversary on Tuesday) debuting near the start of Lent. Son of God strips down the ten-hour The Bible mini-series focusing on the life of Jesus. The film features the same footage with the exception of some deleted scenes.
Son of God is expected to perform well with religious groups. However, a record-breaking opening like The Passion of the Christ is out of the question. 10 p.m. showings give Son of God a slight boost into the weekend, but nothing that will skyrocket the opening weekend. In 3,256 theaters, Son of God could take in $16 million from Friday to Sunday.
Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song The Wind Rises expands to 496 theaters this Friday. The film is nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, but faces stiff competition against the ice sisters juggernaut, Frozen. Domestic audiences don’t flock out to see Studio Ghibli films in theaters, leaving The Wind Rises with a $2-3 million weekend.
Box Office Projections
1. Non-Stop (Universal) – $25.2 million (NR)
2. The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros.) – $21.4 million (1)
3. Son of God (Fox) – $16.2 million (NR)
4. 3 Days to Kill (Relativity Media) – $5.9 million (NR)
5. RoboCop (Sony) – $4.3 million (NR)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.