Taken 2 secures a big October weekend, marking Spiderman’s birthday, the return of Comic Book Men and The Walking Dead, and the release of Ben Affleck’s first appearance on the big screen again in two years.

It’s a remarkable win, and interestingly enough, I think this box office truly requires some explaining. Particularly since Argo is yet another interesting piece of cinema from Affleck, who has clearly not only evolved as a filmmaker, but distinctly improved.

We’re talking about an actor that used to cry in nearly every picture. Now I can’t wait for Affleck’s next picture, too, whatever it may be. I for one am actually quite surprised at Taken 2’s continued success. However, Argo is an R-rated drama-thriller, which is a genre that mostly loses interest amongst young audiences, that is, guys in their twenties. It doesn’t really function as a date movie, either.

Meanwhile, Taken 2 actually does accommodate either weakness, even though it’s rated significantly lower. People who want escapism should look no further. Sometimes, people don’t want an Oscar-winner—they want to shut their brains off. With Liam Neeson’s charisma on-screen, Taken 2 is fueled by the success of the first, and nothing more. It’s mostly a mistake, a disappointment, and sadly, a wasted opportunity.

What’s this? A live-action movie for kids? Here Comes the Boom performed exactly as I expected to. Still, it made the royal top five because kids like more than just cartoons sometimes. Sometimes. In this case, Hotel Transylvania still trumps live-action.

Sinister walks the lines of redundancy so closely, but in comparison to the avalanche of ghost stories that have been more or less translucent at the box office, it doesn’t seem so bad. That seems to be a trend in Hollywood these days for audiences—you just kind of have to take what you can get.

Films have been so unoriginal, that when an adequate-at-best ghost story comes around, it’s celebrated. Oh well. OH, and speaking of? Paranormal Activity 4 should reclaim the box office from Liam Neeson next weekend, while Alex Cross fails miserably like every Tyler Perry movie has.

Weekend Results

1.) Taken 2 (Fox): Second weekend, with $22.5 million.

2.) Argo (WB): Opening weekend, with $20.12 million.

3.) Sinister (Sum.): Opening weekend, with $18.25 million

4.) Hotel Transylvania (Sony): Third weekend, with $17.3 million

5.) Here Comes the Boom (Sony): Opening weekend with $12 million

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