By Bill Wine
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Four new movies sparked a busy box office weekend, but last weekend’s leader made it two first-place finishes in a row.
Taken 2, the action-thriller sequel with Liam Neeson, earned an estimated $23 million to stay on top.
Argo, the new suspense thriller about the Iran hostage crisis, starring and directed by Ben Affleck, finished second with a $21 million opening.
The debuting horror thriller, Sinister, with Ethan Hawke, was third with $18 million.
The holdover, Hotel Transylvania, was fourth with $17 million.
Here Comes the Boom, the new Kevin James comedy, rounded out the top five with a total of $12 million.
And the debuting ensemble crime thriller, Seven Psychopaths, earned a modest $4 million, still good enough for a ninth-place finish.
Overall, industry-wide totals were well ahead of last year’s pace as that early-fall trend continued.