Northern Ireland news

Liam Neeson film makes $11m in opening weekend despite race row

Liam Neeson defended his comments on US television

LIAM Neeson's latest film was the third most popular in the US and Canada over the weekend, despite the Ballymena-born star being embroiled in a race row.

Cold Pursuit made $10.8m (£8.4m) between Friday and Sunday, according to studio estimates.

The revenge drama's opening weekend takings were only slightly below those for Neeson's other recent thrillers, including The Commuter and Run All Night.

The 66-year-old was heavily criticised last week after he told an interviewer of his shame at once walking the streets armed with a "cosh" hoping to kill a black person, after learning that someone close to him had been raped by a black man.

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The actor later insisted he was "not racist" and said would have had the same reaction regardless of the man’s race.

“If she’d have said an Irish, Scot, Brit I know I would have felt the same way,” he said.

In Cold Pursuit, Neeson plays a snowplough driver who takes revenge against the drug dealers he blames for his son's death. The film will open in the UK on February 22.

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