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Liam Neeson ends ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ reign

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 $3.2 million in ticket sales.

The Robert Lorenz directorial is 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 $3.7 million through the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday.

Open Road, the distributor behind The Marksman, also backed Honest Thief. That film bowed to $3.7 million last October and ended its theatrical run with $14 million in the US and $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 theaters are facing amid the country’s latest COVID-19 surge.

Overall, around 65% of US theaters are closed due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman 1984 slid to second place after beating the 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 $2.6 million through the extended holiday weekend.

The DC Comics adaptation that cost $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 theaters until it reaches its traditional home entertainment window.

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

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