One week after the break-out performance of Hotel Transylvania, Fox's Taken 2 was off to a break-out start of its own. The action-thriller sequel starring Liam Neeson led the way this weekend with a strong start of $49.51 million. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, that represents the third largest debut ever for the month of October, behind only the $52.57 million start of last year's Paranormal Activity 3 and the $50.35 million start of 2010's Jackass 3D. As has been the case with Hotel Transylvania, Taken 2 has also proven to be critic-proof in the face of sub-par critical reviews. Taken 2 earned a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore from moviegoers, though its current Flixster rating of 76 percent does leave a bit to be desired. While Taken 2 won't be able to duplicate the massive holding power of 2009's Taken, it obviously won't need to after opening 100 percent stronger than the $24.72 million start of Taken.
Internationally, Taken 2 grossed $55.2 million from 50 foreign markets this weekend. That brings the film's international total to $66.8 million and worldwide total to $116.3 million. Key international grosses for Taken 2 this weekend included $11.9 million in the United Kingdom, $8.1 million in Australia and $2.6 million in Mexico.
Sony's Hotel Transylvania held up very nicely this weekend, especially in the face of new competition for family audiences from Disney's Frankenweenie. The 3D computer animated film featuring the vocal talent of Adam Sandler fell a modest 36 percent to claim second this weekend with $27.05 million. That places the film's ten-day domestic start at an impressive $76.71 million. Hotel Transylvania is currently running 27 percent stronger than the $60.47 million ten-day take of 2009's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. In comparison, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs fell just 17 percent in its second weekend to gross $25.04 million. With the continued help of the approaching Halloween Holiday, Hotel Transylvania should continue to hold up well throughout the month of October.
On the international front, Hotel Transylvania grossed $12.0 million this weekend. The international total for Hotel Transylvania currently stands at $28.0 million, which brings the film's worldwide total to $104.7 million.
One week after a healthy start in limited release, Universal's Pitch Perfect was off to a very solid start in wide release this weekend with a third place take of $14.85 million. The modestly budgeted PG-13 comedy starring Anna Kendrick opened a bit above expectations, which were driven up after the film's successful limited start last week. Pitch Perfect has grossed $21.69 million through ten days of release and will hope to hold up well going forward thanks to strong word of mouth, as indicated by the film's A rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for Pitch Perfect skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (81 percent) and towards moviegoers under the age of 30 (63 percent).
The news wasn't as good for Frankenweenie, which had to settle for fifth place with a weaker than expected start of $11.41 million. Despite generally good reviews, the Tim Burton directed 3D stop-motion film lost out on family audiences in a big way to Hotel Transylvania. Frankenweenie opened 40 percent below the $19.15 million start of 2005's Corpse Bride and instead debuted more in line with the debuts of recent 3D stop-motion films ParaNorman ($14.09 million) and The Pirates! Band of Misfits ($11.14 million). Stop-motion films are typically back-loaded at the box office, so Frankenweenie does still have a good chance of holding up well going forward, especially with the aid of Halloween approaching and what is likely to be solid word of mouth based on the film's B+ CinemaScore rating.
Sony's Looper took fourth place this weekend with $12.12 million. The sci-fi action film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis fell 42 percent from last weekend, which represented a very solid second weekend hold when considering the direct competition the film faced from Taken 2. Looper has grossed $40.22 million in ten days, placing it just 8 percent behind the $43.52 million ten-day start of 2010's Red (which fell 31 percent in its second weekend to gross $15.03 million). With the opening weekend rush out for Taken 2 out of the way, Looper will have a good chance of holding up better next weekend than it did this weekend.