Pop quiz hotshot: If someone you love is kidnapped for ransom, who do you call? Liam Freakin’ Neeson, that’s who!
The man has proven himself time and time again in recent years. Unfortunately for Liam, young-adult adaptation “The Maze Runner” will likely finish at the front of the pack this weekend.
Opening at 3,604 theaters, “The Maze Runner” is the latest attempt to fin the next big young-adult franchise. Many have tried, but none have come close to matching the success of the Twilight or The Hunger Games series. 20th Century Fox is anticipating an opening in the high-$20-millions, but suspect “The Maze Runner” will win the top spot with around $30 million.
That would be a solid win, but it would be much lower than either Hunger Games film or the first Divergent movie. Good thing “The Maze Runner” only cost $34 million to produce.
At 2,712 theaters this weekend, “A Walk Among the Tombstones” is the next chapter in the Liam Neeson renaissance. Since 2009’s “Taken,” Neeson has been on a roll as a major action star. His name has carried several films to solid openings: “Unknown” ($21.9 million), “The Grey” ($19.7 million) and “Non-Stop” ($28.9 million). However, “A Walk Among the Tombstones” might be his toughest sell yet.
The movie is adapted from the Lawrence Block book of the same name, which is one of 17 novels centered around private investigator Matthew Scudder played by Neeson. Thing is this flick looks darker than any of his recent work, even his character seems more grim. But Neeson will bring people and, and Tombstones should still open with around $19 million.
“This is Where I Leave You” opens at 2,868 theaters this weekend, and will likely finish in third place. The family drama has an impressive cast that includes Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Rose Bryne, Jane Fonda among others. But that’s really all the this movie has going for it. Look for “This is Where I Leave You” to open in the $12-14 million ballpark.
And finally, Kevin Smith’s “Tusk” opens at 602 theaters this weekend. Hey, remember when Smith with silly comedies? I miss that jolly fat guy.