Son of God may not have gotten the advertising campaign that Non-Stop received but that doesn’t appear to have hurt the religious epic much at the weekend box office.
Non-Stop, thanks to the added aid of featuring Liam Neeson in a starring role did take the top-selling crown over the three-day period, raking in more than $30 million. The biggest surprise of the ticket taker’s reports have to be the fact that the The Lego Movie didn’t finish second.
Instead, just a little over $4 million behind the number one spot was Son of God. The film came out of nowhere as the world headed into the weekend with almost no buzz until Thursday evening. That buzz was apparently strong enough that the $26.5 million the picture brought in wasn’t that much more than the $20 million predicted for the weekend.
The movie isn’t something that’s brand new to movie goers, if they happened to watch the incredibly popular History Channel miniseries The Bible. The movie is basically a reshot and slightly cut-down version of that series, with the notable exclusion of the Devil, who became rather famous for looking a bit too much like President Barack Obama in the television program.
There have been some new scenes shot and the producers were able to bring back all of the original cast in order to film those scenes for the surprise earner. When the film was announced last year, there were plenty of people who thought the project was a fool’s errand.
As USA Today points out, the movie’s producers are basically trying to get people to pony up money for something they could have seen for free on the History Channel. It appears there are plenty of people who are willing to spend that money.
This is one of those movies that is certainly getting more love from audiences than critics. On CinemaScore, Son of God is getting an 81 percent approval rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes. That high approval number is in stark contrast to the just 24 percent of critics who viewed the movie favorably.
While The Lego Movie might have fallen to third this weekend, it is still the top money-making juggernaut of 2014, having hauled in more than $200 million this year. It seems likely that Neeson’s Non-Stop won’t have that kind of staying power, even if the aging action star seems to printing cash these days.
The sky seems to be the limit for Son of God, which just might be getting some divine intervention.