Sinister Ahead of Argo and Taken 2 at Friday Box Office with $7.5 Million

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Ben Affleck’s Argo and the horror thriller Sinister starring Ethan Hawke took aim at Liam Neeson in Taken 2 at the North American box office on Friday. Both newcomers performed as well as expected, but by Sunday expect Taken 2 to earn another weekend box office victory.

In first place on Friday was Summit Entertainment’s Sinister with 7.5 million, though it achieved first with a big caveat. Sinister earned $1 million from not midnight showings, but additional Thursday night showings that screened before midnight. That would mean those ticket sales should have gone toward Thursday numbers, but Summit is counting them for Friday.

Even if you took half of the extra $1 million from Thursday night/Friday morning screenings, Sinister would still tie for first place with the $7 million Taken 2 put up in its second Friday of release. The Liam Neeson hit took a 62 percent plunge, but is still in line to win the weekend with a three-day total somewhere around $20 million. To date, Taken 2 has taken in $71.3 million and should be up around $85 million to start next week. Expect the $100 million line to be crossed within the next week.

Ben Affleck’s critically-acclaimed Argo came onto the scene with $5.93 million which landed it in third place. Positive word-of-mouth should keep Argo from suffering big drops in the weeks ahead. Though Argo isn’t a blockbuster, the positive buzz should spill right into a big home video debut early next year.

Fourth place went to holdover Hotel Transylvania with $4.2 million. Sony’s animated hit continues to perform well and is less than $1 million short from reaching $90 million. The $100 million mark will easily be crossed on either Saturday or Sunday.

Kevin James’ career continues to stumble as his latest laffer Here Comes the Boom landed with a thud in fifth place with $3.63 million on Friday. The big story there is Here Comes the Boom is now the worst opening for James thus far and will barely crack $10 million through Sunday.

Check back tomorrow for the complete weekend box office report to see how much Taken 2 was able to distance itself from the competition, if Argo closed the gap, if Here Comes the Boom worsened, and how poorly Seven Psychopaths and Atlas Shrugged: Part II performed in their debuts.

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