Taken 2 takes US box office crown with $61.5 million
LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Liam Neeson thriller Taken 2 captured the No. 1 spot on movie box office charts over the weekend with a brawny US$50 million (S$61.5 million) take from theatres in the United States and Canada.
Taken 2 stars Neeson as a former CIA agent kidnapped during a vacation in Istanbul. The movie added US$55 million from some 50 international markets for a global opening of US$117 million including Korea where it opened earlier, distributor 20th Century Fox said.
The strong debut for Taken 2 pushed last weekend's winner, family flick Hotel Transylvania, to second place. The movie about a hotel run by Dracula earned US$26.3 million from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters. Comedy Pitch Perfect snagged the No. 3 slot with US$14.7 million.
North American sales for Taken 2 were more than double the original film's, which opened in January 2009 with US$24.7 million and ultimately grossed a surprising US$227 million around the world. The movie lifted Neeson to the ranks of Hollywood action stars, leading to roles in movies such as Clash Of The Titans and The Grey.