(AFP) Liam Neeson soared to the top of the North American box office with his plane thriller “Non-Stop,” raking in $30 million on Oscars weekend, industry estimates showed Sunday.
Neeson pipped another new entry, “Son of God,” into second, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. It said the controversial film about the life and times of Jesus pulled in $26.5 million.
“The Lego Movie,” the Warner Bros animation film, was relegated to third after a short stint in prime position. It earned $21 million for a total $209.3 million since opening last month.
It was far ahead of George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men,” starring Bill Murray, which earned a relatively paltry $5 million in estimated ticket sales between Friday and Sunday.
Action thriller “3 Days to Kill,” starring Kevin Costner as a secret agent tasked with one final, deadly mission, has had mixed reviews. But that didn’t stop it from earning $4.9 million, ahead of the latest incarnation of cult classic “Robocop.”
Set in 2028 Detroit, “Robocop” tells the story of a policeman injured in the line of duty, returning as part-man, part-robot police officer. It enjoyed ticket sale of $4.5 million for the weekend.
Seventh was “Pompeii,” with $4.3 million, about a lovelorn slave-turned-gladiator in 79 AD.
It was followed by Disney smash and animated Oscar nominee frontrunner “Frozen,” with $3.6 million, loosely based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.
“Frozen” has ticket sales of $388.7 million since its debut in late November.
Rounding out the 10 most popular movies in the United States and Canada were “About Last Night” ($3.4 million) and “Ride Along” ($3 million).