'Taken 2' takes down 'Argo' in US box office showdown
Monday 15 October 2012
Liam Neeson's Taken 2 has defended its box-office title with a narrow win over Ben Affleck's Argo.
Sunday studio estimates put 20th Century Fox's action sequel Taken 2 at Number 1 with $22.5m (£14.03m) in its second weekend. Taken 2 raised its domestic total to $86.8m.
Affleck's Argo, an Iranian hostage thriller from Warner Bros., opened in second-place with $20.1m.
Ethan Hawke's Sinister, about a true-crime writer caught up in supernatural horror, debuted at Number 3 with $18.3 million. The movie was released by Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment banner.
Sony's Here Comes the Boom, with Kevin James as a teacher who becomes a mixed martial arts sensation, started weakly at Number 5 with $12 million.
The weekend's other new wide release, CBS Films' crime comedy Seven Psychopaths, also opened to small crowds, taking in $4.3 million to finish at Number 9. The movie's ensemble cast includes Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson.
The sequel to Taken, the hit that established dramatic star Neeson as an action hero, Taken 2 was dinged by critics who called it a replay of the original. The sequel has Neeson's ex-CIA tough guy up against a gang of Albanian goons out for revenge for their kin that he killed in the first movie.
"It kind of proves that reviews do not matter," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "Audiences just continue to eat this up. They just love Liam Neeson in this role."
Argo may prove the opposite, using its great reviews and Academy Awards buzz to settle in for a long stay at the box office. Affleck directed and starred in the real-life story about a CIA operative who concocts a plan to rescue six Americans hiding in Tehran after the 1979 U.S. embassy takeover by disguising them as members of a fake movie crew.
Revenues on the film ticked up a whopping 47 percent from opening day Friday to Saturday, a sign that audiences were talking it up exuberantly to friends.
"This is a really good indication of how quickly word of mouth can spread," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution at Warner Bros. "The critical acclaim in this case is going to translate into commercial success."
Argo played almost entirely to older crowds that do not necessarily rush out to see movies over opening weekend but often check out well-reviewed films in subsequent weeks.
Lionsgate was happy to come in third with Sinister, ''especially given most people's projections on the film were in the low teens at best," said David Spitz, head of distribution. "It's always nice to come in and over-perform everybody's expectations."
Hollywood's business continues to grow as it heads into the busy holiday season. Overall domestic revenues came in at $132m, up 51 percent from the same weekend last year, when Real Steel led with $16.3m.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included.
1. "Taken 2," $22.5m ($41m international).
2. "Argo," $20.1m.
3. "Sinister," $18.3m ($4m international).
4. "Hotel Transylvania," $17.3m ($13.7m international)
5. "Here Comes the Boom," $12m
6. "Pitch Perfect," $9.3m
7. "Frankenweenie," $7m ($4.9m international).
8. "Looper," $6.3m ($7.5m international)
9. "Seven Psychopaths," $4.3m
10. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," $2.2m
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party