Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
October 6, 2012
Liam Neeson's very particular set of skills is good for an $18.6 million Friday as Taken 2 crushes all comers. The stat of the weekend is that Taken 2 had the biggest single Friday we've seen since the opening weekend of The Dark Knight Rises in July. Its second weekend was $17.7 million; nothing has come close since.
Taken was a surprise hit that came with an even bigger surprise in the form of outstanding legs. Taken 2's breakout was no surprise and while legs will be non-existent, this is an excellent opening that will threaten the October opening weekend record (held by Paranormal Activity 3 at $52.5 million) but being a sequel (with atrocious reviews), it won't quite get there. Still, a weekend of $48 million is nothing to scoff at.
After last weekend's success with a platform release, Pitch Perfect expands to 2,770 theaters and is rewarded with a $4.9 million Friday. That's a 177% increase from last Friday, which is more amusing than anything. I hope we see this type of release pattern more in the future, it's infinitely better than the Wednesday opening, which in the majority of cases just ends up taking away from the weekend opening. A smaller release a weekend in advance can actually build your audience way better, especially via the power of social networking. A weekend of $14.3 million is very solid for Pitch Perfect.
Tim Burton's Frankenweenie earned $3.3 million on Friday. Starting worse than ParaNorman, it will do well over the rest of the weekend but will lag behind the other similar-themed kids movies that have come out over the last few weeks. Not that this was meant to be a huge box office performer, but it's still a bit of a disappointment. Give it about $10 million for the weekend.
Last week's winner Hotel Transylvania drops 41% from last Friday to $6.5 million. Last weekend it had a solid Saturday and Sunday and that trend will continue here as Frankenweenie was no threat to it at all. A second weekend of $25.1 million means it's one of the fall's big winners already.
Time travel thriller Looper slips 49% from its opening Friday to $3.5 million. The somewhat confusing plot could have kept more viewers away and caused a larger decline but that it didn't completely collapse is a good sign. Give it a weekend of $11 million.