Taken 2 breaks $100m worldwide in first weekend

News Simon Brew 8 Oct 2012 - 07:14

The decision to go with a soft rating for Taken 2 is vindicated, as the film enjoys one of the best October openings ever...

There's something really quite depressing about this story. Taken 2 opened around the world the weekend just gone, a film that had been softened to get a more family-friendly rating. As we reported here, the film was cut to get a 12A rating in the UK (our PG-13 equivalent), which seemed an odd move for such a hard-edged action film. In the US, the original Taken was released as PG-13, so it was less of a surprise that the sequel got the same rating.

But tailoring Taken to the family crowd has meant that the film has struck gold at the worldwide box office. The movie opened to a reported $50m weekend in the US alone, one of the best October openings of all time. It repeated the trick outside of the US, with another $55m added to the total. That puts Taken 2 at $105m worldwide after just one weekend.

It's a pretty rubbish film, but it's not the first movie to overcome scathing reviews to make a fortune. What's disappointing with this one is that it's a movie that, with its UK cut at least, has been deliberately neutered to play to the broadest audience. Off the back of the numbers the film has just brought in, that decision has, sadly, been vindicated.

Whilst Neeson and Luc Besson have both expressed reluctance to extend the franchise more, we'd suspect that some meetings will be taking place about a possible Taken 3 in the next few weeks...

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here

Disqus - noscript

I'm not sure what to make of this. The DoG review rated it as poor but IMDb users rate it at 7.1. Over on Rotten Tomatoes there is a big disparity between the critics (19%) and the audience (76%). I also have to consider the fact that the critics hated Taken - the critics don't seem to like violent revenge flicks - see Law Abiding Citizen for a similar disparity. On principle however I won't pay to watch Taken 2 at the cinema because of the softer rating.

Depressing that crap like this fills cinemas, while everyone igored Dredd

So no Taken 2 the Cleaners jokes then?

It's all marketing and word of mouth though.
All I have heard the last couple of weeks is how Taken 2 is coming out and how exiting it is, with large posters and heaps of adverts & reviews. I don't know why everyone was so exited, the first film was all right but nothing hugely special. For Dredd though, all I saw was one trailer in the cinema before Total Recall. I think there was only one trailer, and practically no one talked about it.

I reviewed the first Taken for DoG and couldn't have loved it more, but I went to a press screening of Taken 2 and it really is just half a movie. I had more fun with it than most, but even with all the violence restored I don't think it will touch the first movie. It's more of a comedy than an action thriller.

I was about to say the same thing. It's really depressing.

That may be the case, but it's sad that most people are so easily swayed and will go and see whatever is being shouted at them the loudest. In these days of social media and critic aggregators etc you'd think traditional marketing would be on the wane, word of mouth would be far more influential and people would be becoming more discerning in their viewing habits, but sadly not it seems.

I get so frustrated that my sister and brother-in-law only ever seem to go to see things like Pirates of the Caribbean 4, despite not really having enjoyed any of them since the first one, but they will never take a risk on anything outside their comfort zone. My brother-in-law chose Expendables 2 over Dredd. I may forgive him. Eventually.

As if that wasn't enough pandering to wider audiences, reports here suggest that Taken 3 might merge with the Blade Runner universe.

Taken 2 was average at best and very generic.

Sheep... and we wonder why Hollywood is in such dire straits...

I see where you're going, but to have an outstanding opening weekend doesn't back up your argument of dire straits (financially, anyway).

I think they did the right thing from a financial standpoint - it clearly paid off. If this means we get another shot at Liam Neeson and his "particular set of skills" in Taken 3, then I can't help think this is a good thing.

Sponsored Links