Liam Neeson used his particular set of skills to dominate this week's box office handily, while Tim Burton couldn't entice moviegoing families with his passion project.
Unsurprisingly Taken 2 (read our review) comes in at number 1 this week, but what is quite shocking is the film's $50 million opening weekend. While most analysts figured Liam Neeson's sequel would capture the weekend, very few could have predicted it would double the first Taken's opening ($24 million). Though Neeson has come out to acknowledge a third film is unlikely, this monster opening weekend will surely have Fox trying to figure out some way to bring Bryan Mills back, and more importantly finding a new family member for him to rescue.
Sony's animated film Hotel Transylvania comes in at number 2 with a respectable $26 million for its second weekend. Dropping only 31%, the Adam Sandler-voiced film is now up to $76 million to-date, but is still under its $85 million budget.
Universal's Pitch Perfect – which opened wide this weekend – made the leap into the number 3 spot with $14 million. Mostly positive reviews and a unique premise have helped the film to a $21 million total gross off a $17 million budget.
Last weekend's other big Sony opening, Looper, fell to the number 4 spot with $12.2 million. The Rian Johnson-directed, sci-fi film has fostered many a debate over its version of time travel (join our Spoilers Discussion to share your thoughts), and is now over $40 million to-date.
This weekend's other big opening, Frankenweenie (read our review), rounds out the top 5 with a mediocre $11.5 million. A stop-motion animation adaptation of Tim Burton's own short film, this marks a less-than-stellar debut for the director. While 3D presumably helped the film make it into the top 5, its genre-heavy focus and black-and-white color palette may have been off-putting to some families.
Jake Gynllenhaal's End of Watch comes in at number 6 with $4 million. The critically acclaimed cop drama is now up to $32 million in total grosses operating off a $7 million budget.
Clint Eastwood's Trouble with the Curve (true to form) is right behind End of Watch with $3.8 million. The Eastwood fan base has helped the film bank $29 million to-date, but its domestic gross is still a far stretch from his more recent outings.
At number 8 is House at the End of the Street with $3.6 million. Like End of Watch, HATES was operating off a modest budget ($10 million), and is now up to $27 million in total grosses.
Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master is once again at number 9 with $1.8 million. On only 864 screens that's not bad for the award show-bound film, but its $12 million to-date keeps it on pace to be PT Anderson's weakest performing film in terms of overall domestic gross.
Disney/Pixar's 3D re-release of Finding Nemo rounds out the top 10 with $1.55 million. Considering two newer animated films were out in theaters we're surprised to see Nemo still in the top 10. This re-release is now up to $38 million in total grosses.
It's also important to note that The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Resident Evil: Retribution, and Won't Back Down also posted $1 million+ weekends, and could presumably steal Nemo's number 10 spot when official numbers come in. For Perks, which is only playing on 221 screens, a $1 million third weekend means another strong per-screen average ($6,900) and $3 million in total grosses. But for Won't Back Down, which now is at $4 million to-date, the $1 million second weekend on many more screens adds a little sour note to Fox's big weekend.
Source: Box Office Mojo
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