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Box Office Report: Taken 2 captures top spot; Hotel Transylvania books more guests

The box office results for the weekend of October 5th – 7th, has audiences flocking to see Liam Neeson and his special set of skills. Taken 2 easily took out all the holdovers from last week and gave the struggling box office a much needed jolt. Here are the studio estimates:

1. Taken 2 ($50 million)

2. Hotel Transylvania ($26.3 million)

3. Pitch Perfect ($14.7 million)

4. Looper ($12.2 million)

5. Frankenweenie ($11.5 million)

6. End of Watch ($4 million)

7. Trouble with the Curve ($3.8 million)

8. House at the End of the Street ($3.7 million)

9. The Master ($1.8 million)

10. Finding Nemo 3D ($1.5 million)

Analysis

Before we get to the sequel cash-grab, that worked splendidly by the way, Pitch Perfect expanded to over 2400 theaters this past weekend and achieved a more than respectable showing. Now up to just over $21 million domestically, the dark-horse flick from Universal is looking to position itself to have a decent run in the top ten; assuring that the production budget of $17 million will not be an issue. Sleeper Hit in the making, folks. And yes, that’s rare praise for Universal in a box office report.

When Taken was released back in January 2009, no one expected it to perform similar to a blockbuster product. Obviously it did, and naturally Twentieth Century Fox was going to milk this bloody action piece down the road. Hello, Taken 2. The producers had more confidence this time around; as they poured $45 million into creating, what the lovely critics are essentially pandering: The same movie, minus the special set of skills that made the first installment engaging. By increasing the production budget from $25 million (first edition), international totals will have to provide this with a decent assist. And they will.

The other newbie, Frankenweenie, is following in the haunted footsteps of ParaNorman and Hotel Transylvania (which dropped just 38% in week #2), with capitalizing on the Halloween festivities. For a 3D animation, the Tim Burton directed product had a relatively trim budget of just $39 million (part of that has to do with it using stop-motion animation instead of modern CGI). It would appear that with Burton’s cache overseas, and the abundance of lauds from critics and audiences thus far, this could squeak out some sort of profit by the time November hits.

This Friday, a small army of new guys enters the crowded October arena. Four violent products in Argo, Seven Psychopaths, Sinister, and Here Comes the Boom (fam-friendly in a Rocky sort of way) all battle for top honors. Reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers!

Taken 2

Sequels always work on suckers.

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Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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