Taken 2 rocked the box office on Friday with a massive $18.6 million debut, which puts it on pace for one of the highest openings ever in October. Meanwhile, Pitch Perfect performed fine on a nationwide scale while Frankenweenie failed to find its way out of the shadow of Hotel Transylvania.
Playing at 3,661 locations, Taken 2's $18.6 million start was nearly double the first Taken's $9.4 million. Among other globe-trotting action movies, it was also up on The Bourne Legacy ($13.9 million) and Casino Royale ($14.7 million), and about on par with The Bourne Supremacy ($18.4 million). The movie should earn at least $46 million this weekend, and could even get over $50 million.
Hotel Transylvania dipped 41 percent to an estimated $6.5 million on Friday. In comparison, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs only fell 31 percent at the same point. Still, Hotel Transylvania has already racked up a very strong $56.2 million compared to Cloudy's $41 million. Sony is expecting a weekend between $23 and $25 million.
After earning $6.8 million in a week of limited release, Pitch Perfect expanded in to 2,770 locations and earned an estimated $4.9 million. That's a decent start considering the movie already filled some demand in its limited release, though Universal was probably hoping it would pop a bit more. The company is currently anticipating a three-day gross in excess of $14 million.
In fourth place, Looper fell 49 percent to an estimated $3.5 million. That's a solid hold given the direct competition from Taken 2, though it still suggests that word-of-mouth lines up closer to the "B" CinemaScore than to the 94 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie has now earned $31.6 million, and will be close to $40 million by the end of the weekend.
Frankenweenie disappointed with a meager $3.27 million opening on Friday. That's less than half the opening day of director Tim Burton's last stop-motion animated movie Corpse Bride ($6.7 million), and also lower than ParaNorman's $4.6 million debut in August. In the best case scenario, Frankenweenie finishes the weekend at around $13 million, which is poor considering the active marketing effort and Burton's supposedly strong brand.