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Weekend Box-Office: October 5-7, 2012

10.07.2012

Taken 2 takes the top!

The box office is officially back with a bang and a bunch of bullets after a somewhat sluggish period, and Liam Neeson fired that lucrative salvo with TAKEN 2, shooting to #1 with a $50 million opening weekend.

The Luc Besson-produced sequel brought back Neeson's Bryan Mills and his particular skillset to dispatch relatives of the first flick's kidnappers, and even though it faced some less-than-generous reviews (currently 20% at Rotten Tomatoes), the second round of ass-kicking already made more than its reported $45M budget (it's even bigger overseas, where it snatched an additional $67M). The first TAKEN ended up with a $145M domestic total back in 2009.

When it came to kid-friendly animated monster movies, Tim Burton's new FRANKENWEENIE couldn't compete with last week's winner, the creature feature HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA. Burton's stop-motion hound of Frankenstein (expanded from his 1984 short film) had a low-voltage opening in fifth place with just $11.5 million. But the computer-generated collection of familiar fiendish faces held strong -- HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA only slipped 38% from its opening, bringing in $26.3 million for a second-place finish and $76M after two weekends.

The girl-group musical comedy PITCH PERFECT expanded wide from last week's 330-screen release, and took third place with $14.7 million (the movie was made for a modest $17M). Not far behind was Rian Johnson's sharp time-travel story LOOPER, in fourth with $12.2 million.

The digits dropped fast in the second half of the chart, with the three major releases from a couple weeks back continuing to tussle among themselves -- END OF WATCH, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE and HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET are all within a few hundred grand of each other. Of the three, the cop thriller END OF WATCH seems to be the most successful of the trio so far, considering its meager $7 million production budget and $32.8M domestic total.

Paul Thomas Anderson's THE MASTER is hanging in there at #9, while FINDING NEMO 3D treads water in tenth and RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION and last week's stiff WON'T BACK DOWN disappear from the list. Outside the chart, the thriller THE PAPERBOY and the coming-of-age story THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (which just missed the Top 10) got noticed in limited release.

Next weekend delivers a wide variety that includes Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson in the crime-comedy SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, Ben Affleck's fact-based thriller ARGO, Ethan Hawke and supernatural forces in SINISTER, Kevin James' MMA comedy HERE COMES THE BOOM, additional boom in the indie comedy 3, 2, 1... FRANKIE GOES BOOM, and more low-budget Ayn Rand in ATLAS SHRUGGED, PART II.

What's your favorite Christopher Walken role? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Taken 2 $50 M
NEW
2. Hotel Transylvania $26.3 M $76 M
3. Pitch Perfect $14.7 M $21.6 M
4. Looper $12.2 M $40.3 M
5. Frankenweenie $11.5 M
NEW
6. End of Watch $4 M $32.8 M
7. Trouble with the Curve $3.8 M $29.7 M
8. House at the End of the Street $3.6 M $27.5 M
9. The Master $1.8 M $12.3 M
10. Finding Nemo 3D $1.5 M $38.9 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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