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Weekend Box Office: Audiences Approve Taken 2, Pitch Perfect; Frankenweenie Lies Down

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By Chris Kavan - 10/07/12 at 10:18 PM CT

Last week represented a big turnaround for Hollywood and it looks like the beginning of October continues to hold good news for studios. While not every film performed in line with expectations, the good outweighed the bad and the total box office wound up 55% higher than last year over the same weekend.

A lot of the reason for this success was the opening of Taken 2. Liam Neeson's movie may not have been the most original idea around, but it still opened with $50 million - the third best October opening on record behind Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.6 million) and Jackass 3 ($50.4 million). It was also over twice as high as the opening for Taken ($24.7 million). Although the film may have been savaged by the critics, audiences - evenly split among male/female and running slightly older (56% 25 and older) - gave it a much better B+ score. It should mean it will enjoy a pretty good run, though even with the spectacular opening, hitting the $145 million total of the first film may still be a challenge.

It was also pretty good news for Pitch Perfect, which had a great limited opening last weekend. Expanding to 2,770 theaters, the film wound up in third place with $14.7 million, bringing its total up to $21.6 million. Once again the film was driven by a largely female audience (81%) and while it may not quite have lived up to its limited release potential, it should still be able to cross the $50 million mark before its run is over.

It wasn't all good news as Tim Burton's Frankenweenie arrived a little dead on the scene. With just $11.5 million in fifth place, it wasn't nearly as high as Corpse Bride ($19.1 million) nor could it top ParaNorman's $14.1 million opening. It's tough to sell a black-and-white stop-motion animated film to a wide audience and the numbers attest to that fact. It's been a rough go for Burton, with Dark Shadows also failing to meet expectations, though I have a feeling he won't have much trouble bouncing back.

Hotel Transylvania, meanwhile, continued to enjoy a nice run, dropping just 38% in its second weekend and taking in $26.3 million and topping out at $76 million so far. It will easily make back its $85 million budget - and will end up north of $100 million as Frankenweenie appears to be offering little fight for the family audience.

Looper rounds out the top five, dropping 41.4% from its initial weekend. The film took in $12.2 million and raised its total to $40.3 million - already well passed its $30 million budget. The film proves that original ideas, when done well, can still impress audiences. The film should wind up around the $70 million mark if it can keep its pace.

Next week provides some healthy competition: Ben Affleck's potential Oscar contender Argo leads the charge, Sinister gets the Halloween horror ball rolling, Here Comes the Boom has Kevin James MMA fighting and Seven Psychopaths has... seven psychopaths fighting of a Shih Tzu. All I know is, it should be an interesting mix.

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