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Weekend Box Office: Argo, Sinister Impress, Here Comes the Boom Implodes

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By Chris Kavan - 10/14/12 at 11:27 PM CT

It was another successful weekend for Hollywood, as the top 12 wound up 59% ahead of the same weekend last year. Two newcomers couldn't quite take the top spot, but still impressed with good numbers - though not every new film could boast exceptional openings.

In first place for the second straight weekend was Liam Neeson's Taken 2. Thought the film took a 55% drop, it managed to take in $22.5 million for a total of $86.8 million (still running $33 million ahead of Taken through the same period). It should have no problem crossing the $100 million mark, though it still remains to be seen if it has enough oomph to reach the $145 million that film ultimately ended up with.

In second place Ben Affleck, behind and in front of the camera, with Argo, had a nice debut with $20.1 million. Though that was a bit lower than The Town's $23.8 million, Argo earned a rare A+ cinemascore and opened higher than any recent film set in the Middle East including The Kingdom ($17.1 million), Green Zone ($14.3 million) and Body of Lies ($12.9 million). The movie was made up of a much older crowd (74% over 35), but with good word-of-mouth, including plenty of Oscar buzz, the film should enjoy a steady run - topping out over $100 million.

In third place was the horror film Sinister. With Ethan Hawke at the helm, the creepy kind-of-found-footage-inspired film took in $18.25 million. On just a $3 million budget, the film is already a hit. Comparable, it was lower than director Scott Derrickson's The Exorcism of Emily Rose ($30.5 million) but is running ahead of Insidious ($13.3 million) and The Possession ($17.7 million). While the opening was good it has an uphill battle ahead - audiences only awarded it a C+ and next week it faces direct competition from a popular horror franchise in the form of Paranormal Activity 4 - expect a big drop next weekend.

It wasn't such good news for Kevin James, whose MMA-inspired comedy, Here Comes the Boom, opened to a disappointing 5th place with $12 million. That is lower than The Zookeeper ($20.7 million), The Dilemma ($17.8 million) and not even close to Paul Blart: Mall Cop ($31.8 million). For all his good-natured charm, it seems James does has a limit to how much of a general audience he can attract.

Sony can at least be happy with the fact that Hotel Transylvania is continuing an impressive run. The animated film brought in $17.3 million in fourth place (down 36%) - crossing the $100 million mark to wind up at $102.1 million. If it continues to run at this pace (and why wouldn't it, with Halloween right around the corner?) it should pass The Smurfs $142.6 million to become Sony Pictures Animation's biggest hit yet.

Outside the top five, way down in 9th place, newcomer Seven Psychopaths, despite a diverse, interesting cast, could only scare up $4.275 million. CBS Films has a new nationwide lowest opening, beating The Words $4.75 million from earlier in the year. It's little consolation audiences awarded it a B+ - it will be lucky to cross its $15 million budget.

Looper crossed the $50 million mark in its third week out. Winding up in 8th place with $6.3 million, the film has grossed $51.4 million thus far. And breaking into the top 10 following two weeks in limited release, Perks of Being a Wallflower made an additional $2.16 million and now stands at $6.15 million.

Next week, Paranormal Activity 4 should steal pretty much all the thunder from Sinister and, this close to Halloween, will have a monster opening. On the other hand, I predict that Tyler Perry's turn in a serious role in a crime/mystery film Alex Cross is going to crash and burn.

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