B.O. Roundup, January 9-11: 'Taken 3' Pummels Its Way to 2nd-Biggest January Debut

Sunday, 11 January 2015 10:36 Written by  iamrogue
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B.O. Roundup, January 9-11: 'Taken 3' Pummels Its Way to 2nd-Biggest January Debut

Liam Neeson punched Bilbo Baggins in the trachea this weekend and very nearly set a record as he did it.

After three consecutive weeks at number one on at the domestic box office, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was kneecapped by Taken 3.

What purports to be the last sequel featuring Neeson as retired CIA hardass/devoted father and ex-husband Bryan Mills opened to an estimated $40.4 million from 3,594 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. 

That makes Taken 3 the second-biggest January on the books, behind last year's Ride Along, the Ice Cube-Kevin Hart buddy comedy that debuted to the tune of $41.5 million last January.

Opening weekend-wise, Taken 3 is quite on the level of Taken 2, which pummeled its way to a $49.5 million weekend in October 2012.  It's head and shoulders above the first Taken, the bare-bones action movie that kickstarted Neeson's late action career with a $24.7 million debut five years ago.  Overall, this franchise has collected just under $700 million worldwide.

While Taken 3 scored first place at the box office in spite of almost unanimously poor reviews, Selma cracked second place thanks to ecstatic reviews and word of mouth.  The film, a chronicle of the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama led by Martin Luther King Jr., expanded from 22 theaters to 2,179, earning an estimated $11.2 million in the process.

Having been in limited release since Christmas, Selma has now collected $13.4 million, benefiting from consistent awards season buzz, including four Golden Globe nominations.  Best Director nominee Ana DuVernay and Best Actor nominee David Oyelowo spoke about Selma in an exclusive video interview with IAR.  More recently, producer and co-star Oprah Winfrey also opened up about the acclaimed film.

Paul Thomas Anderson's Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice expanded from 16 to 645 theaters in North America.  Its estimated $2.9 million showing couldn't quite get the Shaggy detective trip into the top ten, but it brought Inherent Vice's total to $4.48 million so far.

Check out the top ten right here:

1. Taken 3...............................................................................................$40.4 million..............New Release

2. Selma..................................................................................................$11.2 million..............$13.4 million

3. Into the Woods...................................................................................$9.7 million................$105.2 million

4. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies......................................$9.4 million................$236.5 million

5. Unbroken............................................................................................$8.3 million................$101.6 million

6. The Imitation Game...........................................................................$7.6 million................$40.8 million

7. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.......................................$6.7 million................$99.5 million

8. Annie...................................................................................................$4.9 million................$79.4 million

9. The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death............................................$4.8 million................$22.3 million

10. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I.........................................$3.7 million................$329.5 million

Having claimed the January record last year, next weekend Kevin Hart returns to see if he can repeat history with the comedy The Wedding Ringer.  It's set to be a crowded weekend, as family-comedy Paddington and action-thriller Blackhat also jockey for moviegoers' hard-earned cash.

For now, though, Taken 3 can rest easy. Even if Neeson doesn't return for T4ken, this series is likely to continue in one form or another.  Perhaps a Takin', an origin story reboot starring a younger, hipper Mills.

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