Liam Neeson’s cinematic alter ego, one Bryan Mills, ex-CIA spook with a fiercely “don’t mess with my family” code, continues his impressive rampage at the box office. “Taken 2”, once again starring Neeson as the ridiculous badass ex-spy, continued the success of the first movie, which surprised everyone when it opened in 2009 with $33 million on its way to $145 million Stateside and $226 million worldwide. The film was, to put it politely, not expected to do a whole lot, and its success shocked everyone from its star down to its producer, Luc Besson. So much so that since “Taken” hit, there have been plenty of films sold mainly on the basis of promising “Taken”-like action.
The sequel, “Taken 2” (hey, keep it simple, I always say) opened in first place with $50 million, essentially recouping its $45 million production budget in one weekend. The actioner easily beat out the only other studio offering, Tim Burton’s stop-motion family fare “Frankenweenie”, which opened disappointingly in fifth place with $11.5 million. Last week’s #1, the Adam Sandler-fronted CG animated flick “Hotel Transylvania” dropped to second place, but continues its winning streak with another solid $26 million, giving it $76 million so far and $105 million worldwide in just two weeks of release.
Rian Johnson’s well-received “Looper”, meanwhile, dropped to fourth place, beaten out by the female-heavy singing comedy “Pitch Perfect”, which added to its theater count dramatically this week and climbed up to the third spot after opening in sixth place in limited release last week. The star-free comedy made $14.7 million this week and $21.6 million total, and should hang around to do reasonably well by the time all the receipts are counted. The fact that it’s only saddled with a $17 million production budget, by far the cheapest film in this week’s Top 5, helps in that regard.
But back to “Taken 2”. Like the first movie, the sequel is a bit of a mess in terms of storytelling, but then again, I’m sure that wasn’t something fans were too concern with. The sequel offered up exactly what you expected and wanted — Liam Neeson being a badass, doing badass things to bad guys. There’s something to be said for giving the audience what it wants. ‘Nuff said.
Via : Box Office Mojo