After three straight weekends at the top of the charts, The Lego Movie has finally been knocked off its brick pedestal by a pair of formidable box office forces: Liam Neeson and Jesus Christ.
Despite middling reviews, Neeson’s cat-and-mouse thriller Non-Stop pulled in $10 million on Friday to take the No. 1 spot. While this is a weaker opening than Neeson’s last action outing, 2012′s Taken 2, the film earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences, which should help push it to a better-than-expected $30 million take for the weekend and proves that Neeson’s appeal to fans of old-school action movies shows no sign of stopping. Not bad for a guy who’ll turn 62 this year.
Adapted from the smash History Channel series The Bible, Son of God took in $9.4 million on Friday, which puts it on track for an estimated $26 to $28 million opening weekend. While this falls far short of the staggering $83.8 million opening for the last big-screen take on the life of Jesus Christ — Mel Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the Christ — it demonstrates that the aggressive and savvy campaign by producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey to market the film directly to devout Christians proved successful. What’s not clear yet is how well the film’s performance will hold up over time and whether its appeal will extend beyond the churchgoing community. Though audiences gave Son of God an A- CinemaScore, reviews have been fairly dismal and, for better or worse, it hasn’t generated any of the headline-grabbing attention that helped fuel the Passion phenomenon.
Despite being pushed out of the top spot, everything is still pretty awesome for The Lego Movie. The animated hit is continuing to perform strongly and will pass $200 million at the domestic box office this weekend.
Check back tomorrow for the full weekend box office report.