Liam Neeson’s ‘The Marksman’ Holds No.1 With $2 Million In Its Second Week; ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Nears $150 Million Globally; And Bond Postponement Leads To More Date-Shuffling
In another sluggish session at the domestic box office, Liam Neeson once again proved to be Mr. Reliable by holding onto the top spot for the second straight weekend with his latest outing, The Marksman. The PG-13-rated border thriller from indie studio Open Road Films put $2 million into its crosshairs, edging out a soft field still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Receipts for the latest Neeson vehicle, which stars the 68-year-old action hero as a rancher who comes to aid of a Mexican boy being hunted by a drug cartel, fell off -34.6% from the previous weekend, earning a $1,005 per-screen average in 2,018 theaters. After two weekends in theaters, The Marksman is tracking very closely with Open Road’s last Neeson headliner, Honest Thief, which also held the top spot for two consecutive weeks back in October on its way to grossing $14.2 million during its domestic run. To date, The Marksman has racked up $6.1 million in North America. It has not yet opened internationally.

In second place was Universal and DreamWorks’ impressively resilient The Croods: A New Age, which dipped just -9% in its ninth week, pulling in $1.8 million domestically. Despite already being available on premium VOD, the PG-rated animated sequel scored a $970 per-screen average in 1,876 theaters. To date, it has piled up $41.8 million at the North American box office and another $98 million overseas, totaling $139.8 million worldwide.

In third place was Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 with $1.6 million in its fifth weekend. The superhero sequel, whose total domestic haul now stands at $37.7 million, has proven to be a bit of a box-office bust stateside, where it debuted simultaneously on the HBO Max streaming service. Still, the DC title has fared better overseas, where it has lassoed $110.3 million so far, pushing its cumulative worldwide box office to just shy of the $150 million milestone with $148 million. The original Wonder Woman earned $822 million at the worldwide box office back in 2017. Of course, that was in a different era, long before the COVID pandemic shuttered roughly 65% of North American movie theaters.

Slugging it out for fourth and fifth place—and caught in a dead heat at press time—were Universal’s Tom Hanks Western, News of the World, and Screen Gems’ videogame adaptation, Monster Hunter, which both appeared to have racked up $810,000 over the weekend. In its fifth weekend, News of the World slid -18.8% from the previous frame, earning a $414 per-screen average in 1,953 theaters, which brought its total domestic draw to $9.7 million. It has not opened internationally yet. Meanwhile, in its sixth weekend, Mila Jovovich’s Monster Hunter fell -12.9%, with a $487 per-screen average in 1,661 locations. The film has made $10.2 million thus far in North America and $7.9 million abroad, totaling a hair over $18 million worldwide. The only other debut to crack the Top 10 this weekend was Gravitas Ventures’ tearjerker Our Friend, which bowed in eighth place with $250,000. The R-rated indie drama about friendship, terminal illness, and grief starring Dakota Johnson, Casey Affleck, and Jason Segel had a $460 per-screen average in 543 theaters. It has not opened overseas yet.

While business at the box office was quiet over the weekend, perhaps the biggest news on the movie front was MGM’s decision to once again delay the release of its eagerly-awaited James Bond sequel No Time To Die from April 2 to October 8. The latest 007 film starring Daniel Craig was originally slated to hit theaters last spring before the coronavirus forced studios to push their biggest films into the future, when a vaccine could be implemented and theaters would finally reopen. No Time To Die, the 25th film in the Bond franchise, was a title that struggling theaters were hoping would goose attendance in their second quarter.

Not surprisingly, several other studios followed suit, kicking their releases down the road in 2021 and some into 2022, such as Universal’s Nobody, Focus’ Last Night in Soho, Paramount’s A Quiet Place, Part II, and Sony’s Morbius, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Uncharted, and Peter Rabbit 2.