BOX OFFICE: Liam Neeson’s ‘Taken 2’ Treats the Competition Like Albanian Kidnappers

Taken 2 Box Office (2012) Liam Neeson

There was a brutal beat down at the Box Office this weekend courtesy of Liam Neeson’s shoot-em-up action sequel Taken 2. The film was the number one movie of the weekend without much competition for the coveted top spot. Meanwhile, Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy had the highest per theatre average and independent films V/H/S, The House I Live In, and Wuthering Heights all opened strong in their limited releases.

Box Office Estimates
October 5 – 7, 2012

1) Taken 2 (Opening)
WEEKEND: $50 million | TOTAL: $50 million

This action sequel had an opening weekend that doubled that of its predecessor, in spite of the fact that the movie was almost universally panned by critics. It might not have the legs of the first Taken movie, which made a total of $145 million, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the sequel even managed to fall a little short. That still probably won’t be enough to save us from a Taken 3, however.

2) Hotel Transylvania (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $26.3 million | TOTAL: $76 million

I’m not exactly sure what it is that has allowed Hotel Transylvania to be so dominant at the Box Office while Frankenweenie opened this weekend to pretty weak numbers. Both movies are rated PG, so their target audiences are similar. The only thing I can think is that the style of animation in Frankenweenie makes it look like it might be scarier, so parents kept their young children away to avoid any potential nightmares.

3) Pitch Perfect (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $14.7 million | TOTAL: $21.6 million

After a very strong limited opening last weekend, Pitch Perfect adds 2,400 screens and more than doubles its earnings. This is another movie that has done remarkably well thanks in large part to word of mouth. With a small budget of $17 million, this has got to be considered a big success for Universal and will likely inspire some more “Glee”-like musical movies in the coming years.

4) Looper (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $12.2 million | TOTAL: $40.3 million

I get excited whenever an original sci-fi movie is successful at the Box Office, especially when it comes from a young an innovative filmmaker like Rian Johnson. I hope that studios continue to take chances on movies like Looper that are innovative and have the ability to be great.

5) Frankenweenie (Opening)
WEEKEND: $11.5 million | TOTAL: $11.5 million

I don’t think it sends a good message that Tim Burton’s uninspired and formulaic film Dark Shadows opens with almost $30 million and his original, well-reviewed stop-motion movie Frankenweenie nearly flops. I suspect this means we will be seeing more of the former get greenlit than the latter.

6) End of Watch (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4 million | TOTAL: $32.8 million

Why do no-budget found footage movies seem to ALWAYS make money? Come on people, they won’t stop making them unless we stop giving them our money.

7) Trouble with the Curve (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.87 million | TOTAL: $29.7 million

This movie has been doing pretty well for a small, adult drama, but it’s certainly no Moneyball. It’s the 17th highest grossing baseball movie of all-time (Moneyball is #2) and it probably end its run as number 13 or 14. I’m assuming that the Box Office strategists behind Moneyball employed sabremetrics to give them the advantage.

8) House at the End of the Street (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.7 million | TOTAL: $27.5 million

The only sure things for movie studios these days are computer animated family movies and horror movies that are released in the Fall. This no-budget movie has managed to have a very successful run despite little marketing and terrible reviews.

9) The Master (4th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $1.84 million | TOTAL: $12.3 million

This Weinstein Company darling has never been on more than 1,000 screens, but has still managed to stay in the top ten for a few weeks. If next week’s openings are week, it might be able to hang on for one more weekend yet.

10) Finding Nemo 3D (4th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $1.55 million | TOTAL: $39 million

With a drop of 61.5% between this weekend and last weekend, Finding Nemo 3D is this week’s biggest loser. That should not underplay the fact that it’s already made $39 million on top of the $300+ million it made when first in theatres. There’s a new formula for the studios – just re-release movies that are proven successful in 3D. It means good money without much investment.

Box Office estimates are courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Look for Here Comes the Boom to have a big weekend next week with film festival favorite Argo close on its heels.

What movies did you see at the theatre this weekend?

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