Taken 2 has beaten Argo in the battle of the box office takings.
Somewhat surprisingly, given the praise that has been heaped on the Ben Affleck thriller Argo, and the sense of malaise that appears to have accompanied Taken 2, Liam Neeson's own dramatic thriller took $22.5 million (£14.03 million) this week, whilst Argo took $20.1 million (£12.53 million). In third place was Ethan Hawke’s supernatural horror, Sinister, which received mixed reviews but weighed in with a respectable $18.3 million (£11.4 million).
This week’s box office results must have the critics scratching their heads in bemusement, wondering just what their ‘raison d’etre’ is, exactly. After all, Taken 2 was largely stamped with ‘steer clear’ with many critics slamming it for being all too similar to the original Taken movie and questioning just what the point of a sequel was in the first place. Argo, on the other hand, already has an Oscars-buzz forming around it. Critical opinion has not translated into box office rankings, though: “It kind of proves that reviews do not matter,” says Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com, whilst movie critics the world over cling desperately to their jobs.
That said, the takings for Argo increased by 47% between Friday and Sunday, suggesting that word of mouth is a powerful thing. “The critical acclaim in this case is going to translate into commercial success,” says Dan Fellman of Warner Bros. Looks as though the critics can rest easy for a little while longer, then.