I’m still trying to heal my mind after Adam Sandler’s Hotel Transylvania made a mockery of my box office psychic abilities last week. The film doubled my prediction’s grossing $42 million and becoming the highest September debut in history. The animated monster mash-up will have stiff competition this weekend from a reanimated pup and a 60-year-old man with a very special set of skills.

From the unique and sometimes creepy mind of Tim Burton comes Frankenweenie, opening Friday. Tim Burton is showing off his love for stop motion animation again telling the tale of a little boy name Victor Frankenstein who loses his beloved dog Sparky. Unable to deal with the loss, Victor conducts an experiment that brings his beloved furry friend back to life. Victor is overjoyed by the resurrection but his friends and neighbors see the walking dead dog as a monster.

Tim Burton is coming off one of the biggest flops of his career with Dark Shadows and I’m not sure if his luck is going to change with this film. I know Burton made the classic stop motion animation film The Nightmare Before Christmas but the premise for Frankenweenie is very morbid. One of my biggest fears in life is my little beagle would get hit by a car if he got out. I’m not sure if parents are going to pile the kids into the mini van like they did with Hotel Transylvania to see a movie about a dead pet.

I’m a huge Burton fan but  I’m a big softie when it comes to pets and the subject may just be too morbid for me. Fans of Burton’s work will probably show up but Frankenweenie is not going to the money-maker Disney is hoping for. I think even with the Halloween season upon us some parents will keep their kids away. I predict $19 million for Frankenweenie.

The film that will take out the monsters of Hotel Transylvania and Burton’s dead dog will be Taken 2. The first film came out of nowhere to become a huge success at the box office and turned the now 60-year-old Liam Neeson into an action star. Neeson’s retired CIA operative Bryan Mills took out a mob of Euro-trash to get his daughter back and now it looks like their families are set on revenge in the sequel.

I know some people have joked around about the idea of the Mills family getting taken again but this sequel will be huge. People loved the first film even with its thin plot. I’m sure people will show up again to see Neeson shoot some bad guys. Plus for as violent as the film is, it’s rated PG 13 which will allow everyone a chance to see Neeson destroy his rivals on and off-screen. When the weekend is over I’m expecting Taken 2 to take in $39 million at the box office. I wonder how many times I used the words take, taken or took in this column.

1. Taken 2 – $39 million

2. Hotel Transylvania – $23 million

3. Frankenweenie – $19 million

UPDATE  10-7-12

Liam Neeson proved that age is only a number this weekend at the box office. Taken 2 took in a staggering $50 million dollars in theaters this weekend, exceeding all predictions for the film. critics weren’t kind to the sequel but it didn’t seem to stop movie patrons from seeing Mr. Mills dispose of anyone criminals who mess with his family. This has been an impressive streak at the box office fo Neeson. Neeson was always seen as a superb actor but never a headlining box office draw.  Sure he had supporting roles in a couple of duds(Battleship and A-Team), but he has faired well solo. The Grey, Unknown and now Taken 2 had respectable returns at the box office.

Tim Burton’s slump at the box office continued with Frankenweenie. Audiences avoided the film’s dark tone as I predicted. The film received positive reviews but people just don’t want to see a kids movie about a dead dog. Frankenweenie grossed a measly $11.5 million. Follow me on Twitter @CW44CouchPotato or become a fan of CW44’s Couch Potato on Facebook.

1. Taken 2 – $50 million

2. Hotel Transylvania – $23 million

3. Pitch Perfect– $14.7  million


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