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"Taken 2" does it again; Brad gets political

Liam Neeson thriller "Taken 2" won a battle between two hostage movies over the weekend, holding on to its top box office rankings for a second week with 22.5 million dollars (USD) from ticket sales in U.S. and Canadian theaters. Action sequel "Taken 2" stars Neeson as a former CIA agent who is captured while on vacation in Istanbul. The movie has pulled in 86.8 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters since its debut a week ago, plus 133 million from international markets "Taken 2" sales outpaced receipts for "Argo," a movie that Ben Affleck stars in and directs. The film is based on a real-life CIA plot to smuggle six U.S. diplomats out of Iran in 1979 under the guise of a fake movie production. "Argo" earned a very strong 20 million dollars and is generating buzz as an Oscar contender after earning stellar marks from critics. Sales for third-place film "Sinister" came in at just over 18 million, that's more than 6 times its tiny 3 million production budget. The movie stars Ethan Hawke as a crime novelist who moves into a new house and finds disturbing home movies. It was produced by the producer of the hit "Paranormal Activity" series of horror flicks. Brad Pitt has thrown his weight behind a documentary that blasts America's 40-year war on drugs as a failure, calling policies that imprison huge numbers of drug-users a "charade" in urgent need of a rethink. The Hollywood actor came aboard recently as an executive producer of the film, "The House I Live In," which opens this weekend.

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