LOS ANGELES, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Liam Neeson proved he is one of Hollywood's most bankable and reliable action stars as his latest film "Taken 2" is projected on track for a 50 million U.S. dollar weekend, giving a much needed boost to Hollwood as it lagged mostly over the recent weeks.
The PG-13 action sequel to the 2008 action thriller "Taken" is the third best October opener in history, trailing only " Paranormal 3"(52.5 million dollars) and "Jackass 3D" (50.3 million dollars). With this, Hollywood is poised for the second consecutive weekend where it enjoys a hefty receipt of sold tickets.
In this flick, Neeson returns as a retired CIA operative with a mission for his family, this time to save his daughter from a bunch of Albanian kidnappers. The 60-year-old actor, who has turned over a number of blockbuster actioners including "Unknown" and "The Grey" over the years, appeals to a broad audience who saw it at 3,661 locations, with 52 percent male and 56 percent being 25 years or older.
Those who have seen it generally like it, and assigned an average "B+" CinemaScore to it. However, contrary to the approval from moviegoers, critics are harsh to it. According to statistics released by review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, it had received a mere 20 percent "fresh" rating. Of 128 posts, only 25 are positive.
The film is a collaboration between Fox and EuropaCorp, a firm run by French writer-producer Luc Besson, on a budget of some 45 million dollars.
"Hotel Transylvania," in theaters in second weekend, performed well as a holdover, taking in 26.3 million dollars for a two-week total of 75.95 million dollars. "Pitch Perfect" went into expanded release, finished in third place for a 14.7 million dollar weekend. "Looper" is fourth, and is on track for a 12.2 million dollar take.
Tim Burton's new feature, "Frankenweenie", opened Friday with about 11.5 million dollars in sales. The Burton-directed stop- motion animation deals with a boy trying to resurrect his deceased pooch. It also won a "B+" CinemaScore grade.