Taken was a theatrical phenomenon. Coming out Superbowl weekend, it did good business for an action film ($24 Million), but then it kept playing. And playing. And it finally topped out at $144. Which is all the more odd because the film opened internationally months previous. When films like this do well, it feels like it comes out of nowhere. Especially for what looks to be a 90 minute actioner from the Luc Besson factory, where a film like Transporter 2 is considered successful for doing $43 Million. What happened?
Well, word of mouth. The film stars Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, a retired divorcee who pines to have a relationship with his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). His ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) is remarried to a rich guy and wants little to do with Bryan, while he seemingly spends most of his time with his old cronies. They’re all ex-spies, with great military training. His buddies get him a job doing bodyguard work for a pop star Sheerah (Holly Vallance), and when he saves her life, she tells him that she might help his daughter get a singing career. Seeing his line in, he meets with his daughter for lunch, only to find out that she wants to go to Europe for the summer. He’s reticent, mostly because he knows how bad the neighborhoods can be, but eventually relents.