Liam Neeson’s The Marksman ends Wonder Woman 1984 reign

LOS ANGELES – If time is a flat circle, then it’s only fitting that a second Liam Neeson movie is ruling over the US box office during the pandemic. 

Months after his action thriller Honest Thief led domestic charts, another Neeson action thriller The Marksman has debuted at No. 1 with US$3.2 million (S$4.3m) in ticket sales.

Robert Lorenz directed The Marksman, about a rancher and retired Marine living in Arizona who helps a young boy escape a Mexican drug cartel. 

The film, which premiered in 1,975 locations, should rake in US$3.7 million through the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday. 

Open Road, the distributor behind The Marksman, also backed Honest Thief.

The latter bowed to US$3.7 million last October and ended its theatrical run with US$14 million in the US and US$28 million globally.

The Marksman joins the company of Honest Thief and Robert De Niro’s The War With Grandpa as some of the lowest-grossing box office toppers in modern history, highlighting the bleak reality that movie theatres are facing amid the country’s latest Covid-19 surge. 

Overall, around 65 per cent of US theatres are closed due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman 1984 slid to second place after besting the (albeit muted) competition for three straights weekends. 

Warner Bros. did not provide a three-day total, but the studio projects the Gal Gadot-led superhero sequel will generate US$2.6 million through the extended holiday weekend.

However, Wonder Woman 1984 could drop to third place behind The Croods: A New Age when Martin Luther King day sales are finalised on Monday.

Wonder Woman 1984, a DC Comics adaptation that cost US$200 million to produce, released simultaneously on the fledgling streaming service HBO Max. 

It will be taken off the platform next Sunday, and the film will only be available to watch in theatres until it reaches its traditional home entertainment window. 

It’s expected to return to the streaming platform a few months later. 

Internationally, where HBO Max has yet to launch, the follow-up brought in US$5.2 million, boosting foreign revenues to US$105.9 million for a worldwide total of US$141.7 million. - REUTERS