Fox's Taken 2 experienced a significant second weekend slide of 55 percent, but was still able to remain in first place at the box office this weekend with an estimated $22.5 million. With more up-front demand and less impressive word of mouth in comparison, Taken 2 is proving to be far more front-loaded than 2009's Taken was (to no one's surprise). With a ten day start of $86.76 million, Taken 2 is currently running 62 percent stronger than the $53.61 million ten-day start of Taken. However, that percentage gap is shrinking quickly and will continue to do so going forward. In its second weekend of release Taken fell just 17 percent to gross $20.55 million. Comparisons to the massive holding power of Taken aside, Taken 2 continues to perform impressively in its own right.
Internationally, Taken 2 grossed $41.0 million from 35 foreign markets this weekend. That brings the film's international total to $132.8 million and worldwide haul to $219.6 million. Key international grosses this weekend included $6.0 million in the United Kingdom, $4.0 million in China and $3.7 million in Australia.
Warner's Argo was off to a very solid second place start with an estimated $20.12 million. The critically acclaimed awards season hopeful directed by and starring Ben Affleck opened 15.5 percent softer than the $23.81 million start of 2010's The Town, which was impressive given the less sellable subject matter of Argo in comparison. Another very impressive aspect of this weekend's performance for Argo was the film's Saturday take of $8.75 million representing a 48 percent increase over Friday's opening day take of $5.93 million. Argo generated a very healthy opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.39 to 1 as a result. That is a strong indication of good things to come for the film going forward at the box office, as is the film's A+ rating on CinemaScore. Holding power should also be helped out from the fact that Argo is skewing heavily towards older moviegoers, as moviegoers over 35 were responsible for 74 percent of the film's audience breakdown. Female moviegoers made up 54 percent of the film's audience.
Sinister was off to a very solid start of its own this weekend with a third place estimated debut of $18.25 million. The R-rated horror film from Lionsgate had generated strong levels of online discussion in the weeks leading up to its release, which built up interest and expectations greatly for the film. Sinister opened in first place on Friday with $7.43 million, but was ultimately overtaken by both Taken 2 and Argo as the weekend went on. With that said, the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.46 to 1 was respectable for a horror film. Going forward, Sinister will have its work cut out for it, as the debut of Paramount's Paranormal Activity 4 on Friday and the naturally front-loaded nature of the horror genre will be working against the film's holding power. Sinister received a C+ rating on CinemaScore, skewed towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (53 percent) and towards male moviegoers (54 percent).
Hotel Transylvania was down 36 percent and two spots to place in fourth with an estimated $17.30 million. In the process, Sony's successful 3D computer animated film is set to surpass the $100 million domestic mark today, on its 17th day of release. Hotel Transylvania has grossed $102.19 million in 17 days, as the film continues to exceed expectations and is currently running 25 percent stronger than the $81.50 million 17-day start of 2009's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Fellow Sony release Here Comes the Boom rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $12.0 million. The Kevin James vehicle opened towards the lower end of pre-release expectations. With the film opening 40 percent softer than the $20.07 million start of last year's Zookeeper, James continues to see his drawing power at the box office diminish. On the positive side of things, Here Comes the Boom registered an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.33 to 1 after opening with $3.61 million on Friday and received an A rating on CinemaScore. Both signs suggest that the film could hold up well going forward.
Seven Psychopaths debuted in ninth place this weekend with an estimated $4.28 million. The ensemble comedy from CBS films earned a modest per-location average of $2,889 from its 1,480 locations. Clearly, Seven Psychopaths had a tough time co-existing with Argo this weekend, especially given the success of Argo among older moviegoers. The audience breakdown for Seven Psychopaths skewed towards male moviegoers (62 percent) and moviegoers 25 years and older (71 percent). Seven Psychopaths did register an encouraging opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.14 to 1 after opening with $1.36 million on Friday.