Lionsgate said today that The Commuter, its thriller starring Liam Neeson, has moved from an October bow to January 12. Vera Farmiga co-stars as a mysterious woman who boards a commuter train and proposes an enticing opportunity to Neeson’s character — one that has dire circumstances if he accepts. The film has Hitchcock-ian elements like North by Northwest and Strangers on a Train.
Patrick Wilson, Sam Neill, Elizabeth McGovern and Jonathan Banks co-star in the film from director Jaume Collet-Serra, who helmed Neeson’s action vehicles Run All Night, Non-Stop and Unknown and the Farmiga starrer Orphan. He also exec produces with his Ombra Films Partner Juan Sola. Byron Willinger and Phil de Blasi wrote the script, and the Picture Company’s Alex Heineman and Andrew Rona produce.
Neeson actioners have had success with early-year releases recently. Taken 3 opened with $39.2M in January 2015 and went on to gross $89.3M domestic and $326.5M worldwide. Non-Stop grossed $28.9M in its February 2014 debut en route to $92.2M in North America and $222.8M globally.
On its new date, The Commuter will battle traffic from and Paramount toon Sherlock Gnomes, Studio 8’s true-crime drama White Boy Rick and Fox’s YA action sequel Maze Runner: The Death Cure — which was delayed by the on-set injury to star Dylan O’Brien. The actioner had been set to go up against Open Road’s biopic Marshall, Paramount drama Mother! and Universal’s thriller The Snowman on October 13 — a week after the bows of action sequels Blade Runner 2049 and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.