Liam Neeson's new flick Cold Pursuit is set to take in $10 million (£7.7m) and is number three at the US box office in its opening weekend.
The film risked being seriously overshadowed after the star made some unexpectedly frank comments in an interview promoting the film, explaining that he once walked the streets of Northern Ireland armed with a cosh looking for 'a black man' to kill after someone close to him had been raped.
Neeson was hit with a massive backlash following his comments, but it doesn't seem as though his controversial remarks have had a negative impact on his new movie, as it went on to pull in $3.6 million (£2.7m) on its opening night.
Liam Neeson's new film is number three in the US box office. Credit: PA
Cold Pursuit's director Hans Petter Moland also defended Neeson, saying he is 'very honest, he is a very decent, grounded man' and refuted claims the actor was racist. He also urged people to look past 'the twitterati' and to read Neeson's comments in full.
He said: "It [racial bias] is subliminal but it's not obvious, it's very similar to subliminally Piers [Morgan] and Susanna [Reid] talking about, 'I know if I was black, this is how I would feel'.
"What they're actually saying is, 'This is how you should feel', and for me, I find that insulting, condescending, because there's no way Piers Morgan or Susanna could ever know what it's like to feel black or how they would react had they been black.
"What they're actually doing is the exact same thing they're accusing Liam Neeson of doing. They're accusing Liam Neeson of looking at one guilty black man and making everybody guilty.
"And what they're saying by that is that, 'This is the way black people should feel as this is how I would feel if I was black'. So that is lumping all black people together, not individualising them."
He added: "Would I never say to Piers Morgan or a white cameraman, a white man in working class in East London, 'Because you're white let's all lump together and this is how you should feel'."
Refusing to back down, and taking the chance to have another pop at Piers, he went on: "The day before, which is very hypocritical, he [Piers Morgan] talked about Winston Churchill, who was a white supremacist... he talked about the superiority of the white Aryan race, and Piers is talking about how great he is.
"And when Liam Neeson did something which is less worse, we're all pillorying him.
"He [Neeson] wanted to describe his film about revenge and when he was asked about a question about how revenge has impacted on you, he wanted to talk about revenge by talking about Ireland first.
"He started to talk about friends on hunger strike... I could tell he wanted to talk about that, but he then stopped himself.
"He quickly glossed over that and talked about something that affected him personally. It's not about race, it's about revenge."
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