If the domestic box office this weekend had a title attributed to it, it would have been called Taken Again… by what should have been called Taken Again!
1. Taken 2 – $22.5 ($86.8 total)
So much for that whole negative effect from word-of-mouth thing…
The action sequel had a regular 50% drop in its second weekend but managed to hang onto the top spot, holding off four newcomers. Liam Neeson continues to draw well, and with news that they’re looking to go around for a THIRD Taken film (if it’s not called Taken with a Vengeance, I’ll boycott the film) I’m sure the filmmakers are hoping that trend continues. As mentioned, the film has gotten pretty poor reviews and the simple fact that it appears to be the exact same movie again makes it hard to believe that Taken 2 has, well, taken the top spot two weeks in a row. It’ll get taken out (sorry, I can’t help myself) next weekend once Paranormal Activity 4 launches but it’s already gotten a great head start and might still have a shot at catching the first film’s $145 million take. (Sorry, last one!)
2. Argo – $20.1 (first week)
Ben Affleck’s third turn behind the camera not only scored well with the critics but took in a nice chunk of change for an R-rated drama. It opened up a little less than The Town ($23 million opening) but the strong word of mouth might actually carry it close to the cume of that one ($92.2 total). The one thing that might have pulled people away (besides Affleck’s hair) was the plot, which upon trying to describe, actually is a bit tougher than I’d thought. I still think it’s going to do well in the long run and with just a $45 million budget, is going to prove to be very profitable, plus, come Oscar time, expect to hear from Affleck and Co. some more.
3. Sinister – $18.3 (first week)
Ethan Hawke and a scary-ass trailer brought a nice opening weekend in the month of scary movies. Tremendously, the film carries a mere $3 million budget so this is going to reap great rewards for Summit Entertainment, and also director Scott Derrickson. Derrickson also helmed The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which turned a $20 million budget into almost $80 million and broke even with The Day the Earth Stood Still back in 2008. I know that I won’t be going to see it, because, well, I’m a wuss, but I also know that among the many horror movies that are released around now, this one looks to be one of the better ones. Good for Hawke, who I feel is criminally underused in movies today.
4. Hotel Transylvania – $17.3 ($102.2 total)
The Adam Sandler animated film crossed the century mark this weekend, making it the 19th film to do that this year. Throw in the $50 million it’s done internationally and he finally has a hit on his hands (although it’s not like it was really marketed as a Sandler pic).
5. Here Comes the Boom -$11.8 (first week)
The Kevin James UFC comedy did about as well as a movie like this was going to, especially when you consider the level of the films that were released alongside it. The marketing was dumbed down from what I thought the movie could have been (or what it actually could be, for all I know) and it’s unfortunate that Kevin James’ soul-selling didn’t extend to what could have been a nice idea for a movie. I think in the end, this didn’t appeal to the masses or encourage people to go out to the theaters to see it when they can just wait a couple months to rent it (which I actually plan to do).
6. Pitch Perfect – $9.3 ($36.1 total)
Another profitable movie out right now, as it’s turned $17 million of acapella singing and dancing into over $36 million. I can’t imagine many guys are going to check this out, so this bit of counter-programming has certainly worked on the young ladies out there…
7. Frankenweenie – $7.0 ($22.0 total)
Down, down, down… Tim Burton’s going down…
8. Looper – $6.3 ($51.4 total)
The Rian Johnson-directed film took a bigger hit than the couple movies ahead of it, but it’s still going to likely double up it’s budget ($30 million) when all is said and done. Plus, GO SEE THIS MOVIE!
9. Seven Psychopaths – $4.3 (first week)
The week’s other new release (albeit in a limited manner) got great reviews but failed to grab a large audience this weekend. The Sam Rockwell/Colin Farrell/Christopher Walken laugh-fest had a high per-theater average, though, so maybe if they expand it a bit next weekend, it could hang around a bit longer and make up its budget (only $15 million). I’m gonna try to get out to see it this week one day as I have been eagerly anticipating it’s release for awhile.
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – $2.2 ($6.2 total)
The Hermoine-is-all-grown-up indie dramedy expanded into about 700 theaters and continued to perform well in its limited release.
Next week sees a fourth film from the Paranormal Activity series (which I will absolutely, positively be skipping) and Alex Cross, the prequel-ish movie in the series about detective Alex Cross, who has been featured in the movies Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. The difference here, though, is that they’ve downgraded from Morgan Freeman to… Tyler Perry. Although, goddammit, if Matthew Fox doesn’t look awesome in the villain role. Looks like another rental, though…
Until next week!