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Box office: 'Non-Stop,' 'Son of God' surge past 'Lego Movie'

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For the first time in its run, the chips look stacked against "The Lego Movie."

Liam Neeson's latest action film, "Non-Stop," surged to the top of the box office on its opening night Friday with $10 million in ticket sales, according to estimates. Just behind with an estimated $9.4 million was "Son of God," the biblical epic culled from the History Channel's hit 10-hour miniseries "The Bible."

With Neeson starring as a federal air marshal in a race against time to save an airliner, "Non-Stop" builds on the success the actor has had with thrillers "Taken" and "Taken 2." Also starring Julianne Moore and the Oscar-nominated Lupita Nyong’o of "12 Years a Slave," the film was expected to earn $20 million this weekend.

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Projected to post similar numbers in its first weekend, "Son of God" has been buoyed by strong advance ticket sales as churches and other religious groups have helped build anticipation by purchasing passes in bulk and renting out theaters. 

In third place, the hit comedy "The Lego Movie" earned an estimated $4.4 million. Though this marks the end of the film's long reign at the top of the box-office rankings, it could surpass the $200-million mark this weekend with another $20 million in sales.

ALSO:

'Son of God': Clamoring for a big-screen Christ

Screenwriting guru Robert McKee on the Oscar contenders

'Non-Stop' reviews: Liam Neeson saves the day, if not the movie

Twitter: @chrisbarton

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