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The Taken franchise has worked at all thanks to two people: Luc Besson and Liam Neeson. Besson has seemingly been coasting since 1994’s The Professional and certainly has returned to familiar territory with this franchise. Neeson has stopped showing his considerable acting chops by going the action route pretty much since he picked up a lightsaber. Despite its utter predictability, the first Taken proved enormously popular, especially considering its early 2009 release date.
The inevitable sequel, Taken 2, mined much the same ground although it varied things just enough that the rescued daughter (Maggie Grace) now helps dad find their missing mom Lenore (Famke Janssen). Enough seemed to be enough and Neeson thought a third chapter was out of the question. 20th Century-Fox thought otherwise and asked Neeson and cowriter Robert Mark Kamen for one more. We were told things would go in another direction but I doubt anyone anticipated it going even lower, »
- Robert Greenberger
Liam Neeson’s back with his certain set of skills as Taken 3 arrives on Blu-ray in an unrated version and loaded with enough action to keep fans of the franchise happy. The film’s formula breaks some new ground as Neeson’s Bryan Mills is set-up for the murder of his ex-wife and one the run from the police. Directed by Olivier Megaton from a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, Taken 3 sees Neeson joined by Forest Whittaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Dougray Scott, Sam Spruell and Leland Orser. The new film brings the action to Los Angeles as […] »
- Patrick Luce
In 2013, I attended an introduction of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver by writer/director Paul Schrader at The Royal Theatre in Toronto. In his opening remarks Schrader explained the process of writing a ‘lonely man’ film during a paranoid depressive state he was going through. Since then, I’ve realized that I have a fondness for ‘lonely man’ character films. Films like Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, David Fincher’s Fight Club, Spike Jonze’s Her, andthe Coen brothers’ A Serious Man fit neatly into this category. Each of these movies has their own version of a disenfranchised soul searching for an identity in the world. They resent society because of their isolation from it and they try various ways of connecting with to find a purpose in it. I am also highly aware of the lack of ‘lonely woman’ films or rather a good enough variety of »
- Jacqueline Valencia
New Cnc figures confirm 2014 was a tough year for the French film production sector.
Investment in French film production fell by 20% in 2104 to hit a 13-year low, according to new figures released by France’s National Cinema Centre (Cnc).
According to the Cnc’s annual production report released on Tuesday (Mar 24), the body approved 258 films in 2014, 12 less than 2013.
Within this figure, 203 were films-of French-initiative and 55 were majority foreign co-productions.
Nearly all French productions need to seek Cnc approval in order to tap into selective and automatic funding supports so the resulting data is a good indication of what is going on in France’s film production sector.
The new figures revealed that investment in “films-of French-initiative” dropped by 21.7% to €799m ($876m), against €1.02bn ($1.2bn) in 2013.
Overall investment, including co-productions, fell by 20.2% to €994m ($1bn), against €1.2bn ($1.3bn) in 2013.
Breaking these the latest figures down, the Cnc said French investment fell by 19.2% to €753.2m ($825m).
Foreign investment, meanwhile »
Pre-order Taken 3 Here
Directed by Olivier Megaton, Taken 3 sees Neeson joined by returning stars Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace and Leland Orser alongside Forest Whitaker (The Butler), Dougray Scott (Hemlock Grove), Sam Spruell (Snow White and the Huntsman). The film has so far taken over $285 million at the worldwide box-office, and while it is said to be the concluding part of the franchise, don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last we see of Mills and his special skills.
The hunter becomes the hunted when Liam Neeson returns as former CIA operative Bryan Mills, who finds himself framed for the brutal murder of his ex-wife (Famke Janssen). Consumed with rage, and pursued by a savvy police inspector (Forest Whitaker), Mills »
- Scott J. Davis
The cinematographic industry presented some good numbers this month. It is estimated that more than 22 million people went to the cinemas. Sales reach $161 million dollars. Korean Films were watched by 14 million people, had a revenue of $100 million dollars and were able to get 62.43% of the total market. On the other hand Foreign Films grab the 37.38% of the market, were able to sell 8.4 million tickets rising $60 million dollars.
If we compare these numbers with the ones on January 2014 we can see that the industry had a slight decrease. The total number of admissions decline a 4.62% and rise $465 thousand dollar less. Despite of this Korean Cinema was able to get a higher market share than last year. It went from 57.83% in 2014 to 62.43% in 2015.
The Korean Films release this month that gather most viewers were, Love Forecast directed by Park Jin-Pyo with 1.760.696 viewers (Cj Entertainment), Gangnam Blues directed by Yoo »
- Sebastian Nadilo
Taken 3 will be shown in 3D in China, as EuropaCorp will release the latest installment of Liam Neeson's trilogy in the enhanced format. This follows the blockbuster release of Luc Besson's Lucy on 6,000 3D and Imax 3D screens across China, which nabbed $20 million in ticket sales in its first weekend. It was the most successful launch of all time for a French film in China. It took in over $44.8 million at the box office there and went on to $458.8 million worldwide. Foreign audiences have been taken with the Olivier Megaton-directed actioner
- Rhonda Richford
The second edition of the Paris Images Trade Show enters its second week with Paris Images Pro (Jan. 28-29) dedicated to digital innovation throughout the audiovisual value chain, spanning 4K viewing, new production and VFX techniques, and new distribution channels. The first day’s highlights included a keynote speech on new consumer electronics trends by strategy consultant Olivier Ezratty and a masterclass with veteran French helmer Patrice Leconte.
Paris Images Pro’s seminars focus on topics such as 4K viewing trends, cloud-based media delivery services, remote production, the Previz on Set project (which allows real-time pre-visualisation for shoots combining live action and computer animation), use of drones in audiovisual productions, and new film exhibition techniques.
The event also showcases the latest trends in audiovisual equipment – with an exhibition area and ateliers on the Aja Cion 4K, Sony F55 4K and Panasonic VariCam 35 film cameras.
The event follows hot on the »
- Martin Dale
In case you haven't heard, Taken 3 is pretty terrible. It's boring, has awfil action, a predictable story, stupid villains and still doesn't measure up to that surprisingly great first film. But thankfully, it looks like Taken 4 is going to be infinitely better. Sure, Taken 3 may still be in theaters, but this sequel looks so damn exciting that you're going to be anticipating this one more than The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In this one, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) finally gets the co-star he's always needed: Guillermo from "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Honestly, this could reinvigorate the entire franchise. Watch! Here's the trailer for Taken 4 with Liam Neeson and Guillermo from "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last night: Taken 3 is directed by Olivier Megaton (Taken 2) and written by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, The Professional) and Robert Mark Kamen (The Transporter franchise). Ex-covert »
- Ethan Anderton
With a new crop of movies set to debut this weekend, including Blackhat, The Wedding Ringer, Paddington and the nationwide expansion of American Sniper, it remains to be seen if any of these titles can dethrone the current box office champ Taken 3. While the action sequel is believed to be the last in the Taken franchise, Liam Neeson and his "particular set of skills" teamed up with Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s Jimmy Kimmel and Guillermo Rodriguez for the "follow-up," Taken 4: The A-Paco-Lypse.
This four-minute "sneak peek" at Taken 4 features Liam Neeson having an amicable conversation with Guillermo, when he notices that one of his dogs, Paco, is missing, sending the duo on a quest to get the dog back to Guillermo. Jimmy Kimmel himself is also featured as the dog-napping villain, who questions exactly what these "skills" really are. They even tease a "follow-up" of sorts, »
20th Century fox
Despite an inevitably abject response from critics, Taken 3 has followed in the footsteps of its predecessors and made $93m at the worldwide box-office, doubling its budget (£20m of which was given to Liam Neeson to drag him out of franchise retirement).
It might be an acquired taste (to say the least), but fans respond the only way that matters, throwing dollars in, and basically guaranteeing that the sequel that was set up at the end of Olivier Megaton’s latest will happen sooner rather than later.
And all of that from a franchise that the lead star first wasn’t even convinced would get a cinematic release and then closed the door on pretty definitively only a matter of two years ago.
Clearly fans can’t get enough of tough talking, hard hitting Bryan Mills, but even the most ardent might not know these facts about his franchise… »
- Simon Gallagher
2Nd Update, Tuesday 3:21 Am Pt: Actuals have been reported from most of the studios, with very few discrepancies amongst the major titles. The Top 5 remain the same as projected on Sunday, save for a tie-break between Exodus: Gods And Kings and China’s Miss Granny with the latter landing at No. 4 and the former at No. 5 on the international chart. There are also more markets reporting on The Imitation Game which added $6.6M for a $41.8M cume.
Figures have been updated throughout the below for those films as well as: Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, Taken 3, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Penguins Of Madagascar, Big Hero 6, Seventh Son, Into The Woods, Ouija, Honig Im Kopf, Unbroken, The Theory Of Everything, American Sniper, Dumb And Dumber To, Let’s Be Cops, The Water Diviner, Boyhood, Horrible Bosses 2, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Birdman and Gone Girl. »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Updated Final, 2:03Pm: Full Monday actuals per Rentrak are in, and the year’s box office, through 11 days, is at $379.4M, 1.1% behind last year (that’s $4.27M behind). What’s up? While it’s too early to sound the alarm; it turns out that this weekend’s haul of $126.57M — despite Taken 3‘ s great opening — was off 10% from the same frame a year ago, which minted $140.8M. For the most part, we can attribute it to the fact that we’re dogging Frozen‘s carryover from a year ago. While Lone Survivor‘s wide break made $37.8M during the second frame of January 2014, Frozen in its eighth weekend made $14.7M ($3.4M more than No. 2 Selma did over its Fss).
Taken 3 (Fox), $39.2M, 3,594 locations, $10,908 average; total cume: $39.2M, Wk. 1 Selma (Par), $11.3M, 2,179 locations, $5,189 average; total cume: $13.6M, Wk. 3 Into The Woods (Dis), $9.6M, 2,833 locations, $3,373 average; total cume: $105.1M , Wk. »
- Anthony D'Alessandro
Stars: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Don Harvey, Dylan Bruno, David Warshofsky, Jon Gries, Andrew Borba, Judi Beecher, Andrew Howard, Catherine Oyer, Jimmy Palumbo | Written by Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen | Directed by Olivier Megaton
In some ways, Taken became the little franchise that could. Kicking off in 2009, it was marketed and released as a fairly mid-level actioner with few ambitions other than to not lose money. Its Us theatrical release only happened because of the weird pop-culture zeitgeist it captured where people were excited about Oscar Schindler punching Eastern Europeans out of existence. The sequel came and made even more money with its 12a rating proving controversial but meeting distributor Twentieth Century Fox’s aim of making a massive haul of cash, taking over £20 million at the UK box office alone. Liam Neeson and previous instalment director Oliver Megaton are back with another chilling look at »
- Ian Loring
The Taken franchise continues to be a success, with the latest installment Taken 3 earning over $40.4 million this past weekend at the box office. While all of the promotional materials for the movie touted this as Bryan Mills' final adventure, Liam Neeson doesn't discount that a fourth movie may happen in the near future.
Speaking with FoxNews.com, the actor was asked if he'd ever return for a fourth installment. Even though this was supposed to be the last chapter in the series, Liam Neeson says there is always a chance that he will return. And we can all blame Forest Whitaker if it happens. As he explains:
"There's always... I think if audiences go and see it and they like these characters, I mean, I'd love to do something with Forest [Whitaker] again, and if it's in a Taken 4 scenario... great."
Liam Neeson and “Taken 3” went out with a loud bang at the box office this weekend, opening to a better-than-expected $40.4 million as the highly regarded civil rights drama “Selma” stumbled in its national expansion.
The final installment of the EuropaCorp vengeance movie franchise that turned the 62-year-old Neeson into an action star knocked “The Hobbit” out of the top spot after three weeks with the second-best January opening ever, and easily outpaced the weekend’s other wide opener, the awards hopeful “Selma.”
- Todd Cunningham
He may have spent the weekend ducking critical brickbats and bullets, but Taken’s Bryan Mills has emerged victorious, at least in the eyes of American cinemagoers. The third – and apparently final – instalment of the Taken franchise has scored a healthy $40 million this weekend, according to studio estimates.The film, which finds Liam Neeson’s Mills on the run after ex-wife Lenore is murdered, scored some of the worst reviews of the series, and that’s saying something given that it followed Taken 2. Still, audiences appeared to have been ready for more of Mills’ particular skills and with no other wide releases on this largely forgotten early January weekend, Olivier Megaton’s film was able to triumph over some awards contenders.Despite its own issues – accusations of fudged facts and other concerns – civil rights drama Selma soared into the top ten in second place after adding 2,157 screens to its »
While the opening day may be slightly down on last year’s opening for Taken 2, which grossed over $18 million, the threequel still managed to pack them in, grossing an estimted $14.7 million for Friday, which included $1.6million in Thursday night previews.
In addition, Taken 3’s opeing day is the third biggest Friday opening for a January release, just behind Cloverfield ($17.6m in 2008) and The Devil Inside ($16.8m in 2012). And while the overall weekend won’t come anywhere close to Taken 2’s massive $49million opening, it may be just enough to drag Neeson back to the franchise for a fourth time.
Taken 3 is out now at cinemas nationwide in the UK, »
- Scott J. Davis
Taken a Break: Megaton’s Slurpy Finish Brings Euro Schlock to L.A.
It should surprise no one that Taken 3 is a laughable, sometimes downright embarrassing mess of stapled together derivatives, narrative clichés, and the kind of god-awful dialogue that makes one wonder if screenwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen even know what real life human beings sound like. Director Olivier Megaton, acolyte of Monsieur Besson, returns to direct the third installment, which is a minor improvement over Taken 2 if only due to the fact that we’re not simply photocopying the initial film that started us down this ‘rabbit hole’ in the first place. But then, the film belies the faulty foundation from which the franchise was born—this could have easily been any generic celluloid jockstrap for Mr. Neeson, honorable family man extraordinaire defending the innocent and (usually) privileged targets of ill will to some inane or illogical resolution. »
- Nicholas Bell
This is a movie as its own death wish. To call it cheap, lazy, and perfunctory grants it a dignity that implies there was another path it could have taken. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): not a fan of the franchise
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
I figure French fauxteur Olivier Megaton (Taken 2, Colombiana) jumped his own shark when he chose that nom de cinema, but if not, he’s definitely done it now with Taken 3. It wouldn’t be fair to call this a movie: it’s more a phony, forced assemblage of stilted dialogue, incoherent action sequences, inexplicably sociopathic behavior on the part of its supposedly sympathetic protagonist, and bad self-referential “jokes” about the many idiocies of the franchise it has now, we can hope, killed for good. This is a movie as its own death wish. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
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