Box office revenues soared 58 percent over a year ago thanks to a handful of films that overperformed, led by Liam Neeson action pic Taken 2 and Ben Affleck's awards darling Argo.
From 20th Century Fox and EuropaCorp, Taken 2 grossed $22.5 million from 3,706 theaters in its second weekend to stay at No. 1. An unqualified hit, the pic has now earned $86.8 million domestically.
Argo, from Warner Bros., grossed a strong $20.1 million from 3,232 locations in its debut to easily take the No. 2 spot. The critically acclaimed film surged 47 percent from Friday to Saturday as moviegoers flocked to see the period political thriller, about the rescue of six Americans during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.
Affleck both directed and stars in the $44 million film, which received a glowing A+ CinemaScore, guaranteeing a long run for the film throughout awards season.
Summit Entertainment's pre-Hallowwen pic Sinister also overperformed, taking the No. 3 spot with $18.3 million from 2,527 theaters. The pic is the most profitable of the weekend, considering it cost under $3 million to make. Sinister was financed and produced by urbre horror producer Jason Blum and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones.
Sony's animated hit Hotel Transylvania showed no signs of slowing down in its third weekend as it jumped the $100 million mark, grossing $17.3 million to come in No. 4. The film's domestic cume is $102.2 million.
Hotel Transylvania even beat new Sony family comedy Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James and Salma Hayek. The pic grossed a soft $12 million from 3,014 theaters to place No. 5.
CBS Films' dark comedy Seven Pscyopaths, only opening in 1,480 locations, grossed $4.3 million to place No. 9.
Saturday's live broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera's L'Elisir d'Amore placed No. 10 with $2.3 million from 900 theaters. The broadcast kicks off the seventh season of The Met: Live in HD program.
Summit's specialty pic The Perks of Being a Wallflower placed No. 11 as it expanded into a total of 726 theaters, grossing $2.2 million for a cume of $6.2 million.
Conservative offering Atlas Shrugged: Part II came in No. 12 in its debut, grossing $1.7 million from 1,071 theaters.