Box Office Top 10 Film Film News

Box Office: Son of God Can’t Defeat Liam Neeson’s Particular Set of Non-Stop Skills

To see our other box office top 10 breakdowns please go here.

So, here’s what happened this weekend at the domestic box office: In the battle between Non-Stop and Son of God for box office supremacy, there was technically one clear winner, but, in reality, both were succesful meaning everyone’s a winner.  Yay!  Elsewhere, Frozen joined the $1 billion club, the slow-motion disaster that is Pompeii‘s box office continued, and RoboCop officially told us all to suck it because everyone outside of the US and Canada are happily forking over their money for tickets.

Top 10 Actual Domestic Totals (2/28-3/2)

1. Non-Stop (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$28.8 million
  • Budget=$50 million

Foreign: Concurrent to its North American debut, Non-Stop opened in 21 international territories where it grossed a combined $20 million for a worldwide debut of $48.8 million.

Liam Neeson’s improbable run as the world’s favorite action star just received an adrenaline injection, not that it really needed one.  His recent action thrillers The Unknown (2011) and The Grey (2012) each had decent openings of $21 and $19 million respectively, neither topping Taken‘s surprising $24 million opening from 2009.  Maybe the particular Liam Neeson action star shtick simply had a financial ceiling which had been reached by Taken?  Then Taken 2 opened with a huge $49 million late 2012, and now Non-Stop posted a solid $28.8 million debut, on par with recent action hits like Olympus Has Fallen.  Speaking of fictional Presidents, this is also biggest debut for a film primarily set on an airplane (yes, they keep records of that kind of thing) since Harrison Ford grumpily bellowed “Get off my plane!” and America/Canada swooned to the tune of a $37 million opening for Air Force One in 1997.

2. Son of God (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$25.6 million
  • Budget=They’re not telling

Foreign: Not currently scheduled to play internationally until the end of this month.

Producers Mark Burnett and Roma “Touched By an Angel” Downey scored big with The Bible miniseries.  So, they cut it down, added in deleted scenes (thus new content), called it Son of God, and hocked it like crazy to any church who would listen.  They rode that faith-based wave to the biggest debut for a Christian film since Mel Gibson scored $83 million nearly 10 years ago to the day (that is if you don’t count the Christian allegory Chronicles of Narnia films).  That’s nice and all, but this means it did better than little-seen fare like I’m In Love with a Church Girl, Grace Unplugged, Courageous, The Nativity Story, etc..  In fact, Son of God and Passion of Christ are pretty much it when it comes to box office hit Christian films, but, still, there used to be one where now there is two.  Other notable factoids about Son of God‘s $25.6 million opening: $4 million came from advanced sales to various churches, 4% came from a Spanish-language version of the film playing in just over 200 theaters

3. The LEGO Movie 


  • Weekend Gross=$20.8 million
  • Gross to Date=$209.1 million
  • Budget=$60 Million

Foreign: $21 million this weekend for total combined international gross of $121.1 million and worldwide total of $330.2 million

Everything remains awesome for LEGO Movie despite losings its spot atop the chart after 3 glorious weeks of being #1.  It’s still technically ahead of Frozen‘s domestic pace, which had $177 million after 24 days of wide release vs. LEGO‘s $209 million.  That doesn’t mean LEGO will make more than Frozen.  In fact, it won’t.  As a point of comparison, The Lorax actually also had $177 million after 24 days, just like Frozen, but it topped out at $214 million whereas Frozen is at $388 million and counting.  Frozen‘s most impressive attribute has been its legs, and LEGO‘s will be tested next week with the release of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which is already off to a decent start with $39 million in foreign release.  However, at its current rate LEGO could cross $300 million domestic by the end of its run, which would rank it among the top 8 grossing animated films of all time until you ruin the fun and actually adjust for ticket price inflation.

4. 3 Days to Kill

3 Days Kill

  • Weekend Gross=$4.95 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$20.7 million
  • Budget=$28 million

Foreign: Playing in limited release overseas; no official box office estimates yet

3 Days to Kill is only at over $20 million after 10 days, but it cost just $28 million to produce meaning their bar for success was low.   Up against Non-Stop 3 Days to Kill dropped 60% here in its second weekend.  It’s not doing particularly bad, really.  It’s just not doing particularly well either.  They wanted Taken-type business, and that’s not happening, not domestically at least.  The world ultimately probably loves Liam Neeson being a badass, not other older actors trying to also be a badass like Kevin Costner in the very Taken-esque 3 Days to Kill.

5. The Monuments Men

Monuments Men Clooney

  • Weekend Gross=$4.94 million
  • Gross to Date=$65.6 million
  • Budget=$70 Million

Foreign: Currently, its has a combined international gross of $38.9 million for a worldwide total of $104.4 million

Monuments Men is a failed Oscar contender which now represents the worst reviewed film of George Clooney’s career as a director.  However, it’s also the highest domestic grossing film of Clooney’s directorial career, easing a strong 37% this weekend in climbing closer to matching its $70 million budget in domestic gross alone.  It has been very resilient thus far, outlasting multiple movies which have come and gone around it on the top 10 since its release.  That’s great, but you know the rule – to make a profit, double your production budget (it’s more complicated than that, but let’s keep it simple).  So, until they’re at $140 million worldwide this thing is still likely taking a financial loss.

6. RoboCop 


  • Weekend Gross=$4.5 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$51.2 million
  • Budget=$100 million

Foreign: $30 million this weekend for a new combined international gross of $136 million and worldwide total of $187.2 million

All that really matters now for RoboCop is what international audiences think.  Whether or not they love it is up for debate, but they sure as heck are all rushing out to see it.  At this point, 72% of RoboCop‘s $187.2 million worldwide total is from international markets, particularly Russia, South Korea, France, Brazil, and Mexico.  It’s Pacific Rim all over again, which made 75% of its money overseas.  RoboCop distributor Sony is no stranger to this since both of their Smurf films made at least 75% of their worldwide gross overseas.  If there is to be a RoboCop 2 it will be a sequel very few in the US and Canada asked for but the international markets demanded.

7. Pompeii 


  • Weekend Gross=$4.3 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$17.7 million
  • Budget=$100 million

Foreign: $16.4 million this weekend for a new combined international gross of $47.7 million and worldwide total of $65.4 million

Pompeii is being distributed domestically by Sony, but its $100 million budget was fully financed by Germany’s Constantin Films.  FilmDistrict is paying for the marketing.  Constantin claims they can easily weather the storm, unlike the actual residents of historical Pompeii, due to the foreign markets.  However, that 10-day foreign total of $47.7 million isn’t good enough for a film which cost $100 million to produce, and is bombing hard in the US and Canada.

8. Frozen 


  • Weekend Gross=$3.6 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$388.7 million
  • Budget=$150 million

Foreign: Currently, its has a combined international gross of $611.5 million for a worldwide total of $1 billion

Disney actually lost their patience with Frozen this past week.  It’s been 15 weeks – it should be out of theaters.  They should be putting it out on home video by now.  So, they released it digitally, tying in with the launch of their new VOD service Disney Movies Anywhere.  However, that didn’t seem to stop anyone from seeing the movie in theaters, where it again eased off its customary roughly 18% and finished with a total north of $3 million on the weekend.  It became the 18th film to ever gross $1 billion worldwide, only the 5th of which was actually not a sequel or prequel. The last animated film to join the $1 billion club was Toy Story 3 in 2010.

9. About Last Night 

About Last Night

  • Weekend Gross=$3.3 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$43.6 million
  • Budget=$12.5 million

Foreign: Playing in very limited release overseas; no official box office estimates yet

For the second week in a row, Kevin Hart laid claim to two consecutive spots on the chart, this time with About Last Night at #9 and Ride Along at #10.  About Last Night likely turned a profit by the end of its opening weekend, which is good because it has fallen down the top 10 pretty fast since then.  It’s still easily one of the highest grossing romantic comedies of the past handful of years (not saying much), but they had to expect bigger business from a film which reunited 3 of the stars of the $91 million-grossing Think Like a Man.

10. Ride Along


  • Weekend Gross=$3 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$127.1 million
  • Budget=$25 Million

Foreign: Currently, its has a combined international gross of $7 million (in limited release) for a worldwide total of $134.1 million

Universal has started off 2014 on a hot streak with Lone Survivor and Ride Along both clearing the $100 million mark, and Non-Stop being their third film to debut at #1.  That’s partially due to the ineptitude of ex-Warner Bros. film chief Jeff Robinov.  Ride Along was originally set up at New Line, a subsidiary of WB, but Robinov never felt comfortable enough to give the film the green light, even after Kevin Hart came on board.  So, Universal scooped it up from WB in mid-2012, agreeing to profit-share whereby WB receives 5% of Ride Along’s profits as well as any future sequels.  Universal has to be plenty happy with that at this point.  They also scooped up the Dumb & Dumber sequel due out this year in a similar deal with WB, although that seems a far riskier bet.


What Happened Outside of the Top 10?

Who Fell Out of the Top 10?: Winter’s Tale (#10 to #29), Endless Love (#9 to #12).  Winter’s Tale, which cost $60 million to produce, now has and won’t likely improve much upon its $12.1 million domestic gross.

Any Notable Performances?: The Anchorman 2 re-release as an R-Rated version with hundreds of new jokes failed to register for most, grossing $1.3 million from just over 1,000 screens.  This is roughly on par with what World War Z, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and This is the End pulled down during their re-releases last August.

What’s Up Next?: Both opening wide on Friday are 300: Rise of An Empire and Mr. Peabody & Sherman.  300 looks to succeed where both Pompeii and The Legend of Hercules massively failed, and Mr. Peabody hopes for something closer to Lego Movie than Nut Job.

UPDATED (3/5/2014): The above box office figures have been updated to reflect actual totals instead of the original studio estimated totals.  The main difference?  3 Days to Kill and Monuments Men swapped spots on the chart.

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