Hollywood's box office slump is now officially over, as Liam Neeson's butt kicking action thriller "Taken 2" easily took the top spot this weekend with an impressive $50 million debut. It's the second weekend in a row the top film has broken the $40 million mark following "Hotel Transylvania's" $43 million bow last week.
And "Taken 2's" huge haul isn't just a bit of welcome news for an industry that had suffered through one of the worst months in box office history this September; it's also more than double the amount the first "Taken" earned in its 2009 debut ($24 million), putting the film on track to become one of the rare sequels that outperforms the original.
Of course, despite the fact that the box office was up 41% over last year's figures, it wasn't all rainbows and lollipops, as Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie" was dead on arrival, earning just $11.5 million in its opening weekend for a fifth place finish. That puts it well behind the similarly horror-themed animated hit "Hotel Transylvania," which came in second with a very strong $26.3 million.
And finally, the word of mouth hit "Pitch Perfect" expanded to wide release this weekend following a surprisingly robust $5.2 million debut in limited release last weekend. Building on that positive buzz, the Anna Kendrick musical moved up three spots to third place on the charts with a $14.7 million take, meaning the film has already earned more than its meager $17 million budget.
Here's a look at the full chart, courtesy of Box Office Mojo:
1. "Taken 2" - $50m (our review)
2. "Hotel Transylvania" - $26.3m (our review)
3. "Pitch Perfect" - $14.7m (our review)
4. "Looper" - $12.2m (our review)
5. "Frankenweenie" - $11.5m (our review)
6. "End of Watch" – $4m (our review)
7. "Trouble with the Curve" – $3.9m (our review)
8. "House at the End of the Street" – $3.7m (our review)
9. "The Master" – $1.8m (our review)
10. "Finding Nemo" - $1.5m