Liam Neeson and 'Taken 2' Hold Off 'Argo,' 'Sinister' at Box Office

A handful of robust contenders tried their best to knock Liam Neeson out of the top slot at the box office, but in the end, the man with a special set of skills managed to hold off of the competition and help Taken 2 win the weekend box for a second consecutive weekend.

Despite dropping nearly 55% from its initial opening-weekend pull, the Taken sequel added $22.5 million to its overall cume (which now sits at $86.7M domestically, overall). Though it’s hard to make a clear comparison, the original Taken – which opened in January and played to a different audience – had only banked $53.6M by uts second weekend. 
 
Taken 2 nearly crossed that threshold in its opening weekend. So yes, it’s clear that Neeson’s return to the role of Bryan Mills was met with open arms by his Taken fans … and you can understand why plans for a third Taken already are underway (though the franchise may go in a completely new direction if Neeson decides he doesn’t want to return).
 
Ben Affleck’s Argo, meanwhile, got off to a solid start with $20.1M, hopefully setting the stage for a long and healthy awards-season run. The film enjoyed excellent reviews, and Affleck hit the publicity circuit hard in hopes of beefing up its opening-weekend number. Word of mouth should carry Argo in the coming weeks (though Warner Bros. might be a little bit concerned that Argo opened slightly behind The Town, which nabbed $23.8M in its first weekend back in 2010).   
 
After a strong Friday, Ethan Hawke’s horror movie Sinister came back down to earth. And Kevin James’ Here Comes the Boom didn’t live up to his regular numbers, posting $12M in a busy weekend. But that barely compared with Zookeeper ($20M) and Paul Blart ($31.8M), which either suggests that James’ audience is tiring of his act … or they just didn’t have much interest in a MMA comedy. 
 
CBS Films, however, has to be very pleased with the limited-release opening of Seven Psychopaths, which rolled out into just under 1,500 theaters and still banked $4.275M as it played to its cult-movie base. The studio needs to roll it out into more locations ASAP … and not hold its cards too close to its vest, as Summit continues to do with marvelous The Perks of Being a Wallflower
 
Here’s the full Top 10 list for the weekend:
 
MOVIE / WEEKEND / TOTAL
 
1. Taken 2, $22.5M, $$86.7M
 
2. Argo, $20.1M 
 
3. Sinister, $18.2M
 
4. Hotel Transylvania, $17.3M, $102.1M
 
5. Here Comes the Boom, $12M
 
6. Pitch Perfect, $9.3M, $36M
 
7. Frankenweenie, $7M, $22M
 
8. Looper, $6.3M, $51.4M
 
9. Seven Psychopaths, $4.2M
 
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, $2.1M, $6.1M
 
Follow along on Twitter @Sean_OConnell and @Fandango
 

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