Looking at the winners and losers from this weekend’s box office:
WINNER: “Taken 2.” Audiences simply cannot get enough of Liam Neeson’s Albanian-killing ways, as the ludicrous “Taken 2″ racked up an additional $22.5 million in its second weekend. Take that, Albanians! It was also able to fend off box office newcomers “Argo,” “Sinister,” “Here Comes the Boom” and more, all of which probably should have had more Albanian-killing if they wanted to capture the hearts of moviegoers. Lesson learned!
LOSER: Kevin James. James’ overly eager-to-please “Here Comes the Boom” landed with a thud, earning just $12 million and winding up in 5th place. The sense that you’ve seen the entire movie from the TV commercials didn’t help, and its family-friendly PG rating likely repelled teens. But it did earn an “A” rating from CinemaScore, meaning word-of-mouth may be strong and could give it an extra boost in the weeks to come.
‘ARGO’ FOR THE GOLD: Ben Affleck’s “Argo” opened strong in second place with $20.1 million, and should be strong in the weeks ahead due to its Oscar buzz and strong reviews.
BARELY WORTH MENTIONING: The lousy “Seven Psychopaths” was D.O.A. with a 9th place finish and a $4.3 million opening. Does that even cover Christopher Walken’s hair care?
Box Office Top 10 (weekend estimates, with cumulative totals in parentheses)
1. Taken 2, $22.5 million ($86.8 million)
2. Argo, $20.1 million ($20.1 million)
3. Sinister, $18.2 million ($18.2 million)
4. Hotel Transylvania, $17.3 million ($102.2 million)
5. Here Comes the Boom, $12 million ($12 million)
6. Pitch Perfect, $9.3 million ($36 million)
7. Frankenweenie, $7 million ($22 million)
8. Looper, $6.3 million ($51.4 million)
9. Seven Psychopaths, $4.3 million ($4.3 million)
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, $2.1 million ($6.2 million)