The consensus seems to be that Taken 2 is a lesser version of its predecessor, but in this day and age an opening weekend has as much to do with the reception of the last film than anything else. Which ends up being a very good industry trend for the Liam Neeson sequel as the movie racked in one of the biggest October openings ever.
Coming in at a cool $50 million, Taken 2 easily won this weekend’s box office tussle. The reviews and word of mouth have not been kind to the film, so it might have a big drop off next weekend, but at this point in time the movie is a win. If it some how finds some minimal legs amid the poor word of mouth, the movie can still get over $100 million and end up in the hit category.
Hotel Transylvania held very well to come into second place with $26+ million over the weekend. The success of Transylvania should be exciting to any one who claims to be a true fan of animation despite the celebrity-centric casting. The movie was the directorial debut of Genndy Tartakovsky, the mastermind behind Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory and Star Wars: Clone Wars. With this film a hit hopefully we will be seeing much more from this animation great.
On the other end of the animation fan spectrum, Frankenweenie did poor business, even for a stop-motion animation film. This is now the third stop-motion film that was well made, produced by the best in the business and failed to find an audience outside of its niche. This is not a death knell for the genre, because it has been doing this kind of business for years now, but this year was the best chance for the sub-genre to gain some bigger exposure.
Rounding out the top three was Pitch Perfect which expanded to a wide release and actually managed a solid showing. The film has been getting good word of mouth, and the limited release actually worked in its favor. The final tallies wont be a huge number, but everyone involved with this little flick has to be proud.
Next weekend the surprisingly strong October continues to chug along with Argo and Here Comes The Boom opening wide and Seven Psychopaths getting a nationwide release as well. It looks like the doldrums of late summer and early fall have finally ended, and the typically big business winter season is starting early this year.