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 in ticket 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 who gets captured in Istanbul pushed last weekend's winner, family flick "Hotel Transylvania," to second place. The movie about a hotel 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 expanded nationwide after an impressive opening a week ago in a small number of theaters.

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

(Reporting By Lisa Richwine; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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