“Taken 2,” the wham-bam action sequel starring Liam Neeson as an ex-C.I.A. agent who must once again save his family from kidnappers, opened with an incredibly strong $50 million this weekend, doubling its predecessor’s first weekend gross. Sweetening the deal: the film made an additional $67m in foreign markets, for a worldwide total of $117m, meaning it’s already close to recouping its production budget. “Taken 3” is practically a sure thing now, provided that Neeson is willing to continue to nurse his unlikely late-in-life action-star persona now that he’s eligible to order off the senior menu at most restaurants. The only question: Who’s left to kidnap? Perhaps the three-quel will fast-forward 10 years, when a 70-year-old Neeson saves his grandkid from aggressors, using his dentures as a weapon.
Fellow new release “Pitch Perfect” expanded pretty well after its word-of-mouth-building platform release last weekend, with $14.7m, which is especially solid when one considers that the movie only cost $17m to make. By contrast, Tim Burton’s $39m-budgeted “Frankenweenie” only opened to $11.5m. I predicted it would do nearly double that, but the underwhelming number isn’t surprising given the family film was shot in black-and-white, a medium that alienates mass audiences.
Holdovers “Hotel Transylvania” and “Looper” both held up nicely, dropping around 40 percent each to weekends of $26.3m and $12.2m, respectively. The folks at Sony have got to be happy that both films should become profitable via domestic box office alone — foreign and ancillary grosses will be icing on the cake.
Check out the full top 10 chart below…
|No.||Title||Weekend||Per Theater Average||Total|
|6||“End of Watch”||$4.0M||$1,688||$32.8M|
|7||“Trouble with the Curve”||$3.9M||$1,289||$29.7M|
|8||“House at the End of the Street”||$3.7M||$1,360||$27.5M|
|10||“Finding Nemo 3-D”||$1.6M||$891||$39.0M|
Source: Box Office Mojo