They call him Liam “Smaller Paycheck” Neeson, and here’s why: “Lionsgate’s Cold Pursuit isn’t running cold at the box office because of the headlines from Liam Neeson’s reported racist statements; it’s doing $10.3M because he’s made way too many man-with-the-gun movies. Even though this one is supposed to have a Fargo tone, it looks like another man-with-the-gun movie…in the snow…with a snowplow.

“Neeson is in Nicolas Cage land now — in fact, he’s been here for quite a while — where all of these pics have run their course stateside, and are financially structured for overseas audiences” — i.e., Asian, Indian and Middle-Eastern sophisticates.

Cold Pursuit‘s opening weekend is lower than last year’s The Commuter ($13.7M, which only did a 2.6x multiple stateside for $36.3M, but made close to $120M worldwide off a $40M production cost). Both pics come to Lionsgate via a StudioCanal release deal. Lionsgate didn’t shell out an MG, they just spent mid-teens for the P&A, and in regards to their books at the end of the day, they expect to break even, if not a bit better.” — 7:21 am box-office update from Deadline‘s Anthony D’Alessandro.