‘Taken 2’ takes down ‘Argo’ in close weekend
Liam Neeson’s “Taken 2” has defended its box-office title with a narrow win over Ben Affleck’s “Argo.”
Sunday studio estimates put 20th Century Fox’s action sequel “Taken 2” at No. 1 with $22.5 million in its second weekend. “Taken 2” raised its domestic total to $86.8 million.
Affleck’s “Argo,” an Iranian-hostage thriller from Warner Bros., opened in second-place with $20.1 million.
Ethan Hawke’s “Sinister,” about a true-crime writer caught up in supernatural horror, debuted at No. 3 with $18.3 million. The movie was released by Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment banner.
Sony’s “Here Comes the Boom,” with Kevin James as a teacher who becomes a mixed-martial-arts sensation, started weakly at No. 5 with $12 million.
The weekend’s other new wide release, CBS Films’ crime comedy “Seven Psychopaths,” also opened to small crowds, taking in $4.3 million to finish at No. 9. The movie’s ensemble cast includes Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson.
The follow-up to “Taken,” the hit that established dramatic star Neeson as an action hero, “Taken 2” was dinged by critics who called it a replay of the original. The sequel has Neeson’s ex-CIA guy up against a gang of Albanian goons out for revenge for their kin that he killed in the first movie.
“It kind of proves that reviews do not matter,” said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. “Audiences just continue to eat this up. They just love Liam Neeson in this role.”
“Argo” may prove the opposite, using its great reviews and Academy Awards buzz to settle in for a long stay at the box office. Affleck directed and starred in the real-life story about a CIA operative who concocts a plan to rescue six Americans hiding in Tehran after the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover by disguising them as members of a fake movie crew.
Revenues on the film ticked up a whopping 47 percent from opening day Friday to Saturday, a sign that audiences were talking it up exuberantly to friends.
Women artists take over Seattle museum
Inspired by the Pompidou Center in Paris, which for nearly two years removed all the men’s art from their modern galleries, the Seattle Art Museum is letting women take over its downtown building this fall.
Lovers of art by men still can get their fill in the museum’s Renaissance, Asian and Native art galleries, but those who want to explore art from this past century will be studying the contribution of women to photography, video, painting and sculpture.
The show is a subset of the Pompidou’s survey of about a thousand pieces, with more than 130 works of art made by 75 artists from 1907 to 2007. The original exhibit wasn’t designed to travel, and Seattle is the first museum other than the Pompidou to show it.