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It's not often that a sequel majorly outperforms its predecessor, but in the case of Taken 2, despite being hammered by critics for being a pale shadow of the original, it banked more than twice as much cash as Taken did on its opening weekend.
Put it down to audiences buying the promise of a second helping of ridiculous yet awesome action sequences, but despite failing to deliver on the goods Taken 2 took an easy number one this week with $50 million, a huge increase over the $24 million Taken banked in 2009.
The other new entry this weekend, Frankenweenie, enjoyed all kinds of praise from critics but failed to electrify audiences, taking in just $11 million for a weak fifth place. Compare that with the last Halloween-esque claymation venture bearing Tim Burton's name The Corpse Bride, which opened wide with $19 million in 2005. Even Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas earned $8 million in 1993 when average ticket prices were almost half what they are today, officially making Frankenweenie the underdog both this weekend and in Burton's claymation career.
Hotel Transylvania held on relatively strong into its second weekend dropping just 38% and adding $25 million to its domestic total. Third place went to Pitch Perfect which expanded wide adding $14 million to its $21 million domestic total.
This weekend marked the first time on five months that Avengers wasn't showing on some screen domestically. The movie wrapped up its $623 million run as the unchallenged champion of 2012 and the third highest grossing film of all time, just behind Titanic's $658 million total and distant to Avatar's $760 million record holding total.
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: