The first Taken movie was a genuine where-did-that-come-from? sleeper hit in 2009. The film, financed and produced by Luc Besson’s French based Europa Corp, had opened overseas months earlier and grossed a respectable $80 million by the time it was finally released in the U.S. in January 2009.
No one expected it to do much here, but something clicked. Maybe because it was a new variation of an old fashioned 1970’s Charles Bronson action movie, but with a much better actor. The kind of straight up, simple thriller movie that people hadn’t seen in years and thought that filmmakers had forgotten how to make.
But what was old was new again and the film became a bona fide monster hit in the U.S., grossing some $145 million, reversing the usual trend of films making more overseas than they do in the U.S.
Now it looks like Taken 2 is going to do the same type of business, grossing just over $50 million this weekend, twice than the $25 million the first Taken made in its opening weekend.
Meanwhile Hotel Transylvania came in second, while Universal’s sleeper hit, the Glee-inspired Perfect Pitch, came in thrid. Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie however was a let down.
And in some totally non-essential box office news, The Avengers official ended its theatrical run this past week, with a domestic total of $632.5 million, and another $888.4 million overseas.
1. Taken 2 (Fox) Weekend $50.0M
2. Hotel Transylvania 3D (Sony Animation) Weekend $27.1M Total: $76.8M
3. Pitch Perfect (Universal) Weekend $14.6M, Total: $21.5M
4. Looper (FilmDistrict/Sony) Weekend $12.0M Total: $40.1M
5. Frankenweenie 3D (Disney) Weekend $11.1M
6. End Of Watch (Open Road) Weekend $3.8M, Total: $32.7M
7. Trouble with the Curve (Warner Bros) Weekend $3.8M, TotaL; $29.7M
8. House At End Of Street (Relativity) Weekend $3.7M, Total: $27.6M
9. The Master (Weinstein) Weekend $1.8M, Total; $12.3M
10. Finding Nemo 3D (Disney) Friday $366K, Weekend $1.5M, Total: $39.0M