Taken 2 has stormed the US box office, taking $50m in the opening weekend.
The figure dwarfs that of the original, which took $24m when it opened in 2009, yet that movie was a rare case of a movie beating the opening weekend predictions as it sat in the top 5 for nearly two months on its way to a £226m worldwide return.
It was bad news for Frankenweenie however, as the gothic stop-motion family picture took just $11.5m, highlighting how tricky it has been to market. Potentially too scary for younger children, and not entirely appealing to adults, the Tim Burton-produced movie under-performed by some margin.
Adam Sandler animation Hotel Transylvania continued its decent run with another $26m, while the singing-battle comedy/ drama Pitch Perfect picked up steam to take third place. Looper, having also under-performed, took a further $12.2m to take fourth.
Taken 2 will probably match its predecessor in the box office stakes, although the budget rose from about $25m to $80m for the sequel, and the chances of Taken 2 receiving the kind of word of mouth reviews that saw Taken become a hit are unlikely - the reviews are largely negative, while Rotten Tomatoes' audience barometer sits at 20%.
1.Taken 2 - $50,000,000
2. Hotel Transylvania - $26,300,000
3. Pitch Perfect - $14,700,000
4. Looper - $12,200,000
5. Frankenweenie - $11,500,000
6. End of Watch - $4,000,000
7. Trouble with the Curve - $3,870,000
8. House at the End of the Street - $3,698,000
9. The Master - $1,840,000
10. Finding Nemo 3D - $1,555,000