Taken 2, the sequel to director Pierre Morel’s surprise 2008 hit, is expected to dominate the box office over the weekend, according to MTV News. The film finds star Liam Neeson reprising his role as Bryan Mills, a former CIA agent who possesses the skills required to rescue his daughter from a band of nefarious international kidnappers. For the sequel, Mills and his wife (Famke Janssen) are taken hostage by someone associated with the villains found in the first feature.
Joel Amos, managing editor for Movie Fanatic, believes Taken 2 could easily become the champion of this weekend’s box office race. “In this era of choosier filmgoers, even a whisper of ‘rottenness’ from a film can doom it to home video. But ‘Taken 2′ has a shot to be box-office champ. Neeson is a popular action hero.”
The negativity Amos is referring to is the mountain of terrible reviews Taken 2 has received prior to its release in North American theaters. For example, Michael Phillips over at the Chicago Tribune noted that the film “is so much lousier than need be, and its action sequences look as if they were put together by someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing.” Other reviewers aren’t much nicer in their critiques of the feature.
Despite the negative reviews weighing against the film — its Rotten Tomatoes score is sitting at an unhealthy 17 percent — Taken 2 is expected to land somewhere around the $40 million mark. Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, meanwhile, could also be a strong contender at this weekend’s box office. However, unlike Taken 2, the film will have some stiff confrontation from the Adam Sandler animated flick Hotel Transylvania.
“Macabre has been front and center for family audiences recently as ‘Frankenweenie’ marks the third original animated film in a row that is distinctly derivative of Halloween and its spooky themes, following ‘ParaNorman’ and ‘Transylvania,’ ” explained Exhibitor Relations box office analyst Jeff Bock. “Sony’s surprise hit was a graveyard smash last weekend and will no doubt slice some fat off ‘Frankenweenie’s’ box-office cut. Still, this is Tim Burton’s most commercially viable stop-motion project to date.”
Will you check out Liam Neeson’s turn in Taken 2 in theaters this weekend?