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New in Theaters October 5th: Taken 2, Pitch Perfect and Frankenweenie

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By Chris Kavan - 10/04/12 at 12:17 PM CT

Last week, it was a win for studios as, after many disappointing box office returns, finally we had a reason to celebrate as the one-two punch of Hotel Transylvania and Looper lifted the total to a 21% improvement compared to 2011. Can Hollywood make it two weeks in a row? With a solid action films, a film that has made big waves in limited release and another Halloween-themed animated film, chances are, yes we can.

TAKEN 2 I, like many others, enjoyed the original Taken for one reason: because Liam Neeson is a badass and he punched, kicked and shot a lot of people in that movie. From what I can tell from the trailers, Taken 2 is pretty much exactly like the first movie, except it's both his wife and daughter who are in trouble this time and he's up against the father of some guy (and his friends) he killed in the first movie. Look, if you want action this weekend, look no further. Neeson is a steely-eyed killing machine - and it's a whole lot of fun. I predict a top three finish for sure.

PITCH PERFECT Considering how well this movie did in just 335 theaters (sixth place with $5.1 million), Pitch Perfect has a good head of steam going into this weekend's wide release expansion. This is obviously going to attract a mostly female audience, but considering the knock-out cast with the likes of Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Elizabeth Banks and Brittany Snow, it might be one of the few movies guys may not be completely horrified to be dragged to watch. Or maybe it's because it reminds me a bit of Glee (yes, it is a guilty pleasure of mine). Whatever the reason, I have a feeling this movie may surprise and wind up a lot higher on the chart than I would normally expect. However, you would still have to drag me unwillingly to watch this in theaters.

FRANKENWEENIE Tim Burton has been more miss lately than hit, but if there is one medium he has continually impressed me with, it's in animation. I consider both The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride outstanding animated films. They're a bit on the darker side, but both are unique and quite enjoyable. Frankenweenie is actually a feature-length expansion of Burton's 1984 short film. The biggest concern I have is that this is being released just one week after the red-hot Hotel Transylvania, and a split audience may lead to lower returns than you would expect. Still, even if this doesn't live up to Burton's other two animated films, chances are it will still be a unique experience.

There is plenty to choose from this weekend, but luckily all three films target a different audience. Chances are, one or another should be able to knock Hotel Transylvania from the top spot (especially with another family film horning in on the action). I expect another winning week for Hollywood - just how high? Be back on Sunday with the results.



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