‘Bad Guys’ repeats at No. 1, Liam Neeson’s latest film flops at the box office

DreamWorks’ animated heist “The Bad Guys” was the top film in U.S. and Canadian theaters for the second straight weekend, according to studio forecasts Sunday, while Liam Neeson’s latest thriller suggested the actor’s skill set may be thinning with audiences.

“The Bad Guys,” distributed by Universal Pictures, brought in $16.1 million in ticket sales in its second weekend, holding on to just a 33% drop from last weekend. The film, adapted from the children’s graphic novel Aaron Blabey, has helped revive family films.

April screenings were largely dominated by Paramount Pictures’ “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” — which came in second with $11.4 million, bringing its cumulative total to $160.9 million — and “The Bad Guys,” with $44. .4 million in two weeks.

However, Neeson’s latest thriller, “Memory,” was largely forgotten by moviegoers. The R-rated Open Road-Briarcliffe Entertainment release launched with an estimated $3.1 million in 2,555 locations. That’s in line with the last few films that Neeson has starred in. In the last two years, “Blacklight” (debut valued at $3.5 million), “Honest Thief” ($4.1 million) and “The Marksman” ($3.1 million) all opened in the same way.

Neeson’s last successful thriller was “Cold Pursuit”, which debuted with $11 million and eventually grossed $62.6 million worldwide. But whether due to over-saturation or lackluster reception (“Memory” gets a 30% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes”), the once-reliable box-office powerhouse has cooled.

“Neeson’s pre-pandemic crime pictures did well, including the successful ‘Taken’ series, but audiences are showing little interest now,” David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy FranchiseRe, wrote in a newsletter. “Movie viewing increased, but ‘Memory’, as well as ‘Blacklight’ and ‘The Marksman,’ hit a wall.”

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

Scot Williams, left, fights Liam Neeson in the new action film “Memory.”
– Courtesy of Open Road Films, Briarcliff Entertainment

Eighth place “Memory” is the only new broad release on a quiet weekend in theaters ahead of Friday’s release of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” Walt Disney Co. release. will effectively kick off the Hollywood summer, which the industry hopes will approach pre-pandemic levels.

Studios last week rang their summer slates at the CinemaCon industry convention, raising expectations for big-budget films like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Jurassic World Dominion.”

The brightest spot in theaters today continues to be “Everything Everywhere all at Once,” which dropped just 2% in its sixth week of release with $5.5 million. The film, an existential metaverse action comedy starring Michelle Yeoh, had an extraordinary full length film in theaters, and with $35.5 million in sales so far, ranks as one of indie studio A24’s biggest hits.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday in US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “The Bad Guys,” $16.1 million.

2. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” $11.4 million.

3. “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” $8.3 million.

4. “The Northman,” $6.3 million.

5. “Everything Everywhere at Once,” $5.5 million.

6. “The Unbearable Weight of Great Talent,” $3.9 million.

7. “The Lost City”, $3.9 million.

8. “Memory,” $3.1 million.

9. “Father Stu,” $2.2 million.

10. “Morbius,” $1.5 million.

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