Listen up kids: Liam Neeson and his “very particular set of skills” are back, and ready for one last ride in the third and final installment in the Taken franchise. His target this time? “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”
Playing at 3,593 locations, “Taken 3 arrives in theaters nearly six years after the original “Taken” opened to a surprising $24.7 million over Super Bowl weekend in 2009. The film held up remarkably well thanks to strong word-of-mouth, and Liam Neeson’s now classic performance as Bryan Mills.
“Taken” wrapped up its domestic run with $145 million. Then, a little over two years ago “Taken 2” opened to $49.5 million, and closed at $139.9 million. However, I didn’t think “Taken 2” was nearly as good as the first movie.
While I don”t expect “Taken 3” will match the opening of its predecessor, the movie should have no trouble matching the original’s debut. “Taken 3” should easily take over the number one spot with around $30 million. Basically, after three weeks of Hobbits, movie audiences are ready for something else, and uncle Liam will do very nicely.
Playing at 2,179 locations, “Selma” should wind up in second place this weekend just behind “Taken 3.” Since opening in limited release on Christmas Day, the Paramount film has earned a solid $2.2 million. Critics have praised the film, and it’s currently at 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. How many movies can say that?
“Selma” also has major awards potential, including four Golden Globe nominations for Picture, Director and Actor. And let’s not forget: the Academy Award nominations are less than a week away, and “Selma” should receive a few nods. Look for “Selma” to finish the weekend with around $15 million.