TAKEN 2 02
Credit: Shanna Besson
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At age 60, Liam Neeson has become the most impressive action star in Hollywood. The grizzled actor’s revenge sequel Taken 2 topped the box office in a major way on Friday, earning an estimated $18.6 million; that puts the film on pace for a weekend in the $45-50 million range — far above the original Taken‘s $24.7 million bow. Fox execs should be celebrating that audiences flocked to Taken 2 despite its terrible reviews.

In second place, last weekend’s chart-topper Hotel Transylvania drained moviegoers of another $6.5 million, a slim 41 percent drop over its opening Friday. Hotel will likely take in about $25 million in its sophomore frame, lifting its 10-day total to $75 million.

Universal’s well-liked a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect stayed on tune after expanding from 335 theaters into 2,770 theaters yesterday. The film grossed $4.9 million, and it’s headed to about $14 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period.

Looper stuck around in fourth place, dipping 49 percent from its first Friday to $3.5 million. The time-bending thriller may earn $11-12 million by Sunday’s end. Close behind in fifth place was Disney’s stop-motion animation picture Frankenweenie, which got off to an unremarkable start. The Tim Burton-directed entry grossed just $3.3 million in its debut day, which may lead to a soft $11 million weekend.

1. Taken 2 – $18.6 million

2. Hotel Transylvania – $6.5 million

3. Pitch Perfect – $4.9 million

4. Looper – $3.5 million

5. Frankenweenie – $3.3 miilion

Check back tomorrow for the full box office report, and follow me on Twitter for more box office analysis and up-to-the-minute updates!

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