Wires

Liam Neeson thriller 'Taken 2' captures box office crown

LOS ANGELES, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Kidnapping thriller "Taken 2"easily won the weekend box office race with $50 million inticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters over the weekend,studio estimates released on Sunday showed.

The sequel starring Liam Neeson as a former CIA agent whogets captured in Istanbul pushed last weekend's winner, familyflick "Hotel Transylvania," to second place. The movie about ahotel run by Dracula earned $26.3 million.

"Pitch Perfect," a comedy about a girls singing group,landed in third place with $14.7 million. The movie expandednationwide after an impressive opening a week ago in a smallnumber of theaters.

"Taken 2" was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of NewsCorp . Sony Corp's movie studio distributed"Hotel Transylvania." "Pitch Perfect" was distributed byUniversal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp .

(Reporting By Lisa Richwine; Editing by Vicki Allen)

((lisa.richwine@thomsonreuters.com)(1 213 955 6776))

Keywords: BOXOFFICE/