Jesus vs. Liam Neeson: A Box Office Showdown
By John Hamann
March 2, 2014
Finishing second is Son of God, the Jesus film from Survivor producer Mark Burnett, and his wife, Touched by an Angel’s Roma Downey. Much like a nature documentary from Disney, Son of God is pulled from The Bible miniseries that aired to big ratings on The History Channel last year. So, despite already seeing it, and a rotten rating of 23% at RottenTomatoes, Son of God still earned $26.5 million at the box office (there’s a joke in there about sheep, but I promised to lay off). The audience, which had already seen it, still gave it an A minus Cinemascore, despite paying for something they had already seen on TV. It started Thursday night, earning $1.2 million, and grossed $9.4 million on Friday (but that included the Thursday figure). Its weekend multiplier was 2.8, which means it slowed down some on Saturday in terms of box office sales. Compared to other faith-based films, this one provides a middle ground, as Passion of the Christ opened to a zillion dollars, and all the rest came in at less than $10 million.
Finishing third this weekend is The LEGO Movie, the breakout hit from Warner Bros., Village Roadshow, and the folks at LEGO. The LEGO movie came into the weekend with $188 million, leaving me to wonder how much this one still had in the tank after three consecutive frames at number one. As expected, its fortunes are starting to fade somewhat, but it still had a solid weekend in its fourth frame. The LEGO Movie earned another $21 million, which means it was off 33% from last weekend’s $31.3 million haul. While a fairly significant drop, the fourth weekend is still in the top 25 fourth weekends of all time. The domestic total for The LEGO Movie has now reached $209.3 million, as it crossed the $200 million mark on Saturday, its 23rd day of release. That makes it the 63rd fastest to get to $200 million, but the second fastest to $200 million for a film released in February. Only The Passion of the Christ did it faster, earning $200 million in a slim 12 days, after its February 25th release date. The LEGO Movie is also approaching the $100 million mark overseas, which means this one has now earned more than five times its $60 million production budget worldwide.
Fourth is The Monuments Men, George Clooney’s World War II flick. The Monuments Men earned another $5 million and declined 37% compared to last weekend. This one has held on much longer than I expected, as has a gross so far of $65.7 million, against a production budget of $70 million. It is just getting started overseas, where it has pulled in just over $25 million so far.
Landing in fifth is 3 Days to Kill, the Kevin Costner-trying-to-emulate-Liam Neeson release from Relativity. After opening to $12.4 million last weekend, 3 Days got rocked by Non-Stop this weekend, as it earned only $4.9 million. That gives it a woeful drop of 60%, and leaves me wondering why Relativity positioned this release the way it did. The risk on 3 Days wasn’t huge, as it cost only $28 million to make, but opening this film last weekend was a large mistake for a studio that doesn’t have a film in release in May, June or September. 3 Days to Kill hasn’t had an overseas release yet, but may do okay over there due to Luc Besson’s name being associated with the title. The Family, Besson’s flick with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer relocating their mob family to France, earned $36.9 million domestically, and $31.3 million overseas. 3 Days has earned $20.7 million so far in North American venues.