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article image'Taken 3' wins easily but box office slows down

By Tim O'Brien     Jan 11, 2015 in Entertainment
UPDATE: As the actual box office numbers were tallied, "Taken 3" took in a bit less than was first noted. It is now the third-highest January opening ever, not the second.
The new number is $39.2 million for the weekend.
EARLIER: As "Taken 3" takes over the box office for a huge January win, it proves certain movies are review proof. "Taken 3" was vilified but that didn't matter as it took in an amount that makes it the second-best January opening ever.
With $40.4 million, Liam Neeson takes down the competition, and it wasn't close. The other films made it look like a normal January. But, before suggesting that this is a cure for the usual January blues, take note. Last year, "Ride Along" went on to a $41 million opening and was a pleasant surprise.
"Ride Along" did not help propel the box office last year, but no matter what, this is good news. But, the distance between the top film and the second tells a story, too. People still stay away from the box office in January. However, Hollywood is planting a few films hoping for what they got this weekend. Over time, all months will matter.
1. "Taken 3" - $40.4 million (update 1.12.15, $39.2 million)
2. "Selma" - $11 million
3. "Into the Woods" - $9.7 million
4. "The Hobbit: "The Battle for the Five Armies" - $9.4 million
5. "Unbroken" - $8.3 million
"Selma" is playing more to the female audience, noted Deadline.
While "Taken 3" over-achieved, "Selma" under-performed as it expanded. Plus, noted The Wrap, the overall domestic box office is down 11 percent from this time last year. So, cheers for one film and caution going ahead. "Taken 3" could dive big in its second weekend.
Overall, the smaller, award season movies like "American Sniper" are doing real well in limited release. When they go wide, they will already have headlines and money in their favor.
With parties and the Golden Globes taking over Hollywood this weekend, all eyes are on that big event. That includes TV, too.
So, Fox has a nice weekend as "Taken 3" seeks to end that series in style. It states that "It Ends Here," after all. Even if it has become a parody on itself, Neeson can smile now.
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