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The third and purportedly final installation in the Taken franchise hit theaters this weekend. On the one hand it's probably a good thing that it's the last movie. At the rate the franchise is going with critics, a fourth movie would somehow end up with a negative Rotten Tomatoes score. On the other hand, it was a hit with audiences, proving the franchise still has some box office draw.
Taken 3 debuted at number one with $40 million. That's down from Taken 2's $49 million, but still strong compared to the original's $21 million opening. As well, it definitely looks good against the movie's relatively modest $48 million production budget. That $40 million opening marks the second highest ever opening in the month of January, just behind Ride Along's $41 million start last year.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies fell sharply, dropping over 55% from last weekend to fourth place. At this rate it is starting to fall behind The Desolation of Smaug which may leave it as the lowest domestic grossing film of the franchise.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 slipped into tenth place on its eighth weekend in release, but not before coming within just a few million of replacing Guardians of the Galaxy as the domestic grossing champ of 2014. If it manages that, it will mark the first time that a franchise has taken back to back years as highest grossing film (Catching Fire was the highest grosser in 2013).
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: