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Taken 2 takes $105 million world-wide on first weekend

Taken 2

Story by Jack Foley

LIAM Neeson’s Taken 2 has topped the world-wide box office with a whopping $105 million.

The sequel, which has widely been panned by critics in the UK, grossed $50 million in the US and $55 million overseas (including the UK) to justify Twentieth Century Fox’s decision to turn the film into a franchise.

The figure represents more than double what the original 2009 film took in the US, as well as the best-ever October opening for a PG-13 film.

Welcoming the figures, Chris Aronson, Fox president of domestic distribution, said: “People love Liam and identify with this character and his drive to protect his family at all costs.”

Another coup for Taken 2 was its ability to coax viewers to late night screenings – which had suffered in the wake of the shootings in Aurora earlier this summer.

The film grossed $1.5 million in Thursday midnight runs and enjoyed strong 10pm shows on Friday and Saturday.

In other box office successes, animated hit Hotel Transylvania slipped to second spot with $27 million to bring its US total so far to just above $76 million after two weeks. The film opens in UK cinemas this week.

In third spot, ensemble comedy Pitch Perfect, starring Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow, grossed over $14 million – marking another hit for Universal.

But Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, which is due to open this year’s London Film Festival on Wednesday, disappointed on its States-side debut, taking $11.5 million to land fifth spot – below the $15 to $20 million that Disney had been hoping for.

The black and white stop motion animated film is an homage to author Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and a remake of Burton’s 1984 short film about a boy who brings his dog back to life with unintended consequences.

It has, however, won glowing critical praise and attracted strong word of mouth, which suggests that it could yet improve its box office over the coming weeks.

In fourth place was last weekend’s box office champ, Looper, which collected an estimated $12 million for a 10-day domestic cume of $40 million.

Next story: Christian Bale to reunite with David O Russell for con thriller