Liam Neeson's actioner "Taken 2" has a strong debut on North American box office in the beginning of October. The sequel to 2009's "Taken" takes in $49.5 million, marking the best ever October opening for a PG-13 film and the third biggest October debut overall behind 2011's "Paranormal Activity 3" ($52.6 million) and 2010's "Jackass 3D" ($50.4 million).
"Taken 2" also performs well at the midnight screening by taking $1.5 million during the Thursday late-night show, marking the biggest midnight gross since the Aurora tragedy last July. Receiving a "B+" CinemaScore, the actioner attracts to mostly male audience who make up 52% of the ticket buyers.
Commenting on the strong performance of the Olivier Megaton-directed movie, 20th Century Fox president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson gushes, "People love Liam and identify with this character and his drive to protect his family at all costs."
Last week's chart-topper "Hotel Transylvania" drops to the runner up spot with $27 million for a total domestic gross of $76 million in its second week. Female-fueled musical comedy "Pitch Perfect" places third with $14.8 million for a total cume of $21.6 million after it was expanded nationwide on its second weekend.
"We're very happy with the film's performance," says Universal Pictures' president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco of "Pitch Perfect", which receives a sizzling "A" CinemaScore from the audience. "We had great momentum going into the weekend, and we are on the road to profitability."
Securing the fourth place is Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis' mind-bending sci-fier "Looper". The time travel movie rakes in $12.1 million for a total domestic cume of $40.3 million in its second week.
Meanwhile, Tim Burton's latest stop-motion film "Frankenweenie" doesn't perform as expected on its debut weekend despite its glowing reviews from critics. Rounding up the top five, the black-and-white flick bags only $11.4 million, which is below Walt Disney Pictures' $15 to $20 million prediction. "Because of the stop-motion and the black and white, the casual moviegoer might need permission to see this film," Disney executive vp distribution Dave Hollis explains.
Top Ten Movies at Box Office for October 5-7: