Another surprising weekend at the box office, as 2010’s surprise hit Taken has repeated itself with its sequel Taken 2, by debuting number one at the box office, and this week, it managed to hold strong at the top with a $22.5 million take, bolstering its total to $86 million, making its $45 million budget a worthy investment. Liam Neeson is beloved by all ages it seems, and the PG-13 rating keeps it open to a wider audience than the number 2 film for the weekend, which was Ben Affleck‘s political thriller Argo, which debuted with a $20 million take. With nearly the same budget as Taken 2, it will be a money maker, especially as we roll into Oscar season, where its sure to get some critical love.
Sinister proved that R-rated horror can still be done right and make money, debuting at number 3 with $18.25 million. Considering it was made on the cheap for $3 million (with probably another $25-30 million in advertising) this one will end up making nice money in the long run, and will probably get a sequel greenlit, if that’s what they are going for. Not having seen the film, I can’t say for sure, but many are hinting that may be the case. Hotel Transylvania made $17.3 over the weekend, pushing its total over $100 million. With advertising, that’s about what the movie cost, but with home video, it will become a nice earner for Sony Pictures Animation.
Kevin James proved he doesn’t have to be completely silly to stick around the top 5, but I’m sure Sony would have liked to see Here Comes the Boom make more than $12 million, however, not every movie can have the freak success of Paul Blart. That movie was released in January (same as Taken), but this one has a serious tilt to it, so that may have held it back. Not to mention it’s a crowded landscape in October, but it will end up doing alright on what has to be a modest budget. Pitch Perfect stuck around at number 6 with $9.3 million in its second week in release, bringing its total to $36 million, which is a score for Universal who only plunked down $17 million to make the movie.
Despite people loving the movie, Frankenweenie has proven to be a bit too dark for most families, coming in at number 7 with $7 million, barely pushing the film’s total past $22 million. However, Tim Burton has more a cultish following, so this one is primed to do better on video, and it was made relatively cheap for $39 million. However, face to face with Hotel Transylvania, Disney has to be disappointed with this one.
Rian Johnson‘s Looper managed to hang around the top 10 for another weekend at number 8 with $6.3 million, bringing the time travel thriller’s total to $51 million. For a film as risky to make as this, Sony has to be happy they have a monetary success on a $30 million budget, and Rian Johnson‘s next crazy movie will get funded, most likely.
Seven Psychopaths proved to be a bit too dark for general audiences, making $4.275 million over the weekend, but it’s still better than the limited release of In Bruges. However, that one did better overseas (the director and star are Irish) so hopefully European totals will make this one profitable, as we need talented directors like Martin McDonagh keeping everyone honest. The Perks of Being a Wallflower pulled in $2.16 million in its expansion, where it was on just under 800 screens, bringing its total to over $6 million. Since it was able to hold Atlas Shrugged Part II (which hit over 1,000 screens) out of the top 10, I’d say it’s a success both for the movie, and the common sense of moviegoers.
Next weekend has only Alex Cross and Paranormal Activity 4 to shake things up, but people love Tyler Perry and they’ve proven they don’t mind seeing the same Paranormal Activity movie over and over, so we’ll see how those shake things up before the end of the month gets really crowded with a strange variety of films.