Sequel outperforms original in most markets
Liam Neeson proved once again he’s an action all-star at the global box office, with Fox and EuropaCorp’s debutante “Taken 2″ collecting $104.7 million worldwide over the Oct. 3-7 sesh, including $55.3 million overseas.Fox handled distribution for “Taken 2″ in 28 overseas markets, including the U.K. and Australia, while producer Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp released the pic in France and Russia, as well as 20 other territories (with the EuropaCorp-distribbed areas contributing $15.7 million.) The sequel outperformed its 2009 predecessor in most major markets. Blighty led the weekend charge, with an impressive $11.9 million, including previews, more than the entire $11 million local cume for the first “Taken.” Australia contributed $8.1 million, marking the biggest Fox opening in Oz so far this year. In France, the sequel earned $8.4 million, while in Russia, the film took in a reserved $1.9 million. Taking advantage of a prime counterprogramming opportunity, Paramount kick-started the release for DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” in Germany, with a stellar $15.4 million. The toon’s Teuton bow comes a week before “Taken” launches in the territory. “Madagascar 3″ grossed $22.2 million in its 18th overseas frame, boosting its international cume to an animated $451 million. The three-quel now stands as the franchise’s highest-grossing installment worldwide ($667 million), surpassing the 2008 sequel ($423 million globally). “Madagascar 3″ finishes its global journey with an Oct. 19 U.K. bow. “Taken 2″ opens in 11 markets starting Oct. 11, including Germany, India and Italy.