First: I apologize for that headline. A little. Second: Is it just me, or doesn’t this weekend’s titles feel like they belong in the summer months? You’ve got a Tim Burton movie versus a sequel to a huge hit, but it’s the first week of October. You could just as easily see these two duking it out in May or June. But I guess they can’t fight superheroes.

As for Taken 2, it should be able to handily take the top spot, even though word on the sequel ranges from “I got what I came for” to “unclean.” When it comes to films like this, artfulness is secondary to having the right amount of raw materials. If Liam Neeson kills a lot of bad guys, then it’s possible audiences will have gotten what they wanted out of the film, regardless of how poorly done it is, and possibly regardless of how well done it is.

Whereas Frankenweenie is not looking like the powerhouse that Hotel Transylvania was last week. Hotel may have had better branding, all things, though Tim Burton is still a huge draw for a certain type of audience when he fully indulges his goth side. Still, this has a ceiling of around $25 Million for the weekend. The problem seems to be that the film is sold on Burton by himself (sans Johnny Depp), and the premise is generic after two similarly themed animated kids movies.

It’s hard to say if Universal blew Pitch Perfect or not yet. It opened on 300+ screens last weekend, and did strong business, and now it goes wide. That may have led to some confusion about whether the film was out or not yet, though it may have also built word of mouth. It could do okay this weekend, but the film is about a longer play, which doesn’t exist in the world of home video. What they may have done is sold a lot of rentals. The film will be on DVD/Blu-ray by March at the latest, so we shall see.

Numbers-wise, let’s do this:

  1. Taken 2 - $37.5 Million
  2. Hotel Transylvania – $25.5 Million
  3. Frankenweenie – $17.9 Million
  4. Pitch Perfect – $14.7 Million
  5. Looper – $12 Million

I could be going a little high on Frank, but kids films are unpredictable. Taken could go up or down a little, but it’s pre-sold. Pitch Perfect could also improve, it all depends on how the word gets out, it’s possible the film could find that young girl audience they’re after.

What are you going to watch this weekend?