Liam Neeson’s Taken train continues to roll. Taken 2, the sequel to Neeson’s surprise hit, dominated the box office charts in its debut weekend by earning a whopping $50 million.
By comparison, the original Taken opened to what was considered a robust $24.7 in January 2009, and went on to bank $145M domestically (and an additional $81.8M overseas).
The sequel practically doubled its opening weekend number. Doubled it! Does this mean that Taken 2 has the opportunity to double the $145M earned by the original? It would be a feat. The opening-weekend figure likely is frontloaded, with fans flocking to the theaters at the onset.
But Taken 2 will face competition from a similar ticket-buying audience when Ben Affleck’s Argo opens on Oct. 12, so expect Neeson’s sequel to come back to Earth after a massive weekend.
With so many audience members flocking to Taken 2, that left very little left for the weekend’s other new release -- Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, which opened to a mild $11.5 million. Disney has to be disappointed, given that they pushed Burton’s feature into more than 3,000 theaters, and benefitted from the 3D and IMAX boosts in ticket prices. But Frankenweenie still was eclipsed by Hotel Transylvania, which posted $26.3M in its second weekend and has now pushed its overall cume to $76M.
Elsewhere, the big mover was Pitch Perfect, which went wide after a one-week limited release and experienced a 185% swing by posting $14.7M for a third-place finish. The musical comedy has earned $21.6M to date, and should continue to build off of positive word of mouth in the weeks to come.
Here’s the full Top 10 list for the weekend:
MOVIE / WEEKEND / TOTAL
1. Taken 2, $50M
2. Hotel Transylvania, $26.3M, $76M
3. Pitch Perfect, $14.7M, $21.6M
4. Looper, $12.2M, $40.3M
5. Frankenweenie, $11.5M
6. End of Watch, $4M, $32.8M
7. Trouble With the Curve, $3.8M, $29.7M
8. House at the End of the Street, $3.6M, $27.5M
9. The Master, $1.8M, $12.3M
10. Finding Nemo 3D, $1.5M, $38.9M