9 October 2012 6:52 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Is a lower 12A certificate responsible for Taken 2 grossing more in the UK in a weekend than the entire run of its predecessor?

The winner

When Taken debuted in the UK in September 2008 with £1.17m, the Liam Neeson action film proved a surprise word-of-mouth hit with audiences, its box office dropping just 6% the following weekend, and eventually achieving a healthy total of 5.5 times its opening number (£6.39m). The film went on to be a robust performer on DVD. In other words, all the planets looked felicitously aligned for the sequel, and industry expectations for commercial performance were appropriately high.

Even so, the success of Taken 2 has caught commentators by surprise. With £6.19m over the three-day weekend, and £7.38m including Thursday previews, the Istanbul-set film has already grossed more than the entire UK run of the original Taken. If previews are discounted from opening weekend figures (as they should »

- Charles Gant

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