Weekend Wrap Up: Taken Beats up Newcomers

The unusually strong October box office continues its roll, as the holdover of last weekend’s number one opener, Taken 2, coupled with two strong debuts, led us to another strong weekend. And with Paranormal Activity 4 coming down the pipeline, we might well be looking at the best October ever when it’s all said and done.

Taken 2

I don’t think anybody in his right mind expected Taken 2 to even approach the legs of its predecessor. That said, it actually held a tiny bit better than I’d predicted, falling 55% to 22.5 million. Its 87 million total so far is way ahead of the original’s 54 million through the same point. Despite this massive headstart, I don’t think Taken 2 will match the original, as that film had some truly spectacular stamina. Even still, a final gross in the neighborhood of 125 is very strong.

Debuting in second, we have Argo, which debuted 20.1 million. This is about three million below Affleck’s The Town, though that film had more accessible subject matter than Argo. Nonetheless, the word of mouth, both critical and among the general public, borders on rapturous for Affleck’s latest directorial effort. I think it’s due for some phenomenal legs and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it play well throughout autumn and hit the 100 million barrier.

Third goes to the other debut, Sinister, which actually had the number one spot on Friday, but then it sputtered out over the weekend, as horror movies are wont to do. Still, an 18.3 million debut is far strong and well ahead of Insidious’s 13.3 million debut. Following in fourth, we have Hotel Transylvania, which continues to hold well, dropping 36% to 17.3 million. At 102 million, it’s the first film to surpass the 100 million barrier since August’s The Bourne Legacy.

Here Comes the Boom disappoints with 12 million and a fifth place finish. Given that I still can’t forgive what a transparently obvious rip off of Warrior it appears to be, I’m almost happy to see it fail, but you know what, I haven’t seen it, so I’ll hold off prematurely judging for once. Anyway, Pitch Perfect falls 37% to 9.3 million. A strong 36 million gross against a 17 million budget is very good news for Universal, which really found a gem with this picture.

The bad news continues for Frankenweenie. One might’ve thought it might have good legs after its soft opening, but not so. It fell 39%, which isn’t bad per se, but it certainly doesn’t right the ship. Just over 7 million this weekend gives it a weak running total of 22 million. Burton should probably stick to bastardizing classics (Planet of the Apes, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc.) as opposed to pet projects.

Falling 48% to 6.3 million is Looper, which now has a sum of 51.5 million. Not too bad for such a high concept film. In ninth place, we have the disappointing Seven Psychopaths. I don’t know if it was too quirky or smart for average moviegoers, or if it was just marketed badly. Still, 4.3 million debut is weak. At least it had a pretty meager budget.

Finally, in tenth, we have The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which expanded into nationwide release. It grossed 2.1 million for a venue average of just under $3,000. That’s….unspectacular. Nonetheless, I think this was always a bit of an indie project so even with just 6.1 million in the bank so far, I think it will be just fine. So let’s look at what’s up next weekend.

Alex Cross: Tyler Perry steps outside his comfort zone, so I’m curious if he’ll be able to carry the black audience like he does with his Madea movies. I’m thinking it’ll open around 13 million.

Paranormal Activity 4: The main reason I want to see this is because it’s finally moving the story forward and it might be the final entry in the series. I still think the franchise peaked with its last entry, but nonetheless PA4 should be huge, debuting around 40 million.

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