Liam Neeson has had an indisputably amazing year.
Though the quality of the actor’s movies remains up for debate (We’re looking at you, Battleship. Well, you too, Wrath of the Titans. Oh gosh, The Grey as well. And, as much as I hate to say it, perhaps even The Dark Knight Rises… don’t stone me!), the fact that 60-year-old Neeson is at the peak of his career, recognized as an almost mythic Chuck Norris-esque figure and opening a new action tentpole every couple of months, is nothing short of remarkable.
And now Neeson has another chart-topper to add to his already impressive resume: Taken 2, which debuted to an astounding $50 million from 3,661 theaters this weekend, good for a sizzling $13,657 per theater average. Taken 2‘s debut is the third-best ever in the month of October, behind 2011′s Paranormal Activity 3, which started with $52.6 million, and 2010′s Jackass 3D, which started with $50.4 million.
The revenge sequel also earned more than twice as much as the original Taken did in its opening weekend — that film surprised Hollywood when it bowed with $24.7 million in 2009, and it also served as the catalyst for Neeson’s career jumpstart. Thanks to great word-of-mouth, Taken chugged all the way to $145 million total.
Time will tell whether Taken 2 can match its predecessor’s gross, but that may prove challenging.
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