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Ben Affleck ARGO Movie Weekend Box Office: Second or Third Place?

Ben Affleck Argo movieBen Affleck Argo movie weekend box office: Behind Taken 2 and Sinister?

Ben Affleck's Argo opened in third place on Friday, having grossed quite a bit less than (the lower end of) early estimates. Starring Bryan Cranston and Affleck, Argo took in $5.93 million at 3,232 sites, thus easily falling behind both Taken 2's $7 million 3,706 locations and Sinister's – surprising – $7.45 million at only 2,527 sites according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Now, bear in mind that Sinister's gross includes $1 million from late Thursday and midnight screenings. (Image: Ben Affleck Argo movie.)

So, which movie will lead the Oct. 12-14 weekend at the North American box office: Taken 2, Sinister, or Argo? On Friday, it seemed that Taken 2 would lead, with Argo right behind it. Now, it looks like Taken 2 will have an easy lead, collecting around $22 million by Sunday evening. Barring another Sinister upset, Argo will likely finish at no. 2, with approximately $18-19 million. If so, the critically acclaimed $44.5 million-budgeted Affleck thriller with political undertones (or overtones, take your pick) will be opening at the lower end of expectations.

Despite its stronger than expected Friday box office take, Sinister should finish the weekend in third place, a little behind Argo. Having said that, don't be too shocked if Sinister manages to sneak into second place, especially if Summit Entertainment adds the film's Thursday night grosses to its final weekend take.

Ben Affleck director opening-weekend box office: Argo movie vs. The Town

For comparison's sake: Ben Affleck's The Town opened with $23.8 million ($24.76 million adjusted for inflation as per Box Office Mojo) in September 2010. The crime thriller featuring Affleck and Jeremy Renner went on to gross $92.18 million ($92.99 million adjusted) in North America, plus a less impressive $61.83 million overseas.

Had early Friday estimates been correct, Argo would likely have finished its run with a box office cume as solid as that of The Town. If today's estimates are accurate, barring lots of awards-season buzz, expect a considerably lower cume – both in North America and elsewhere – for Ben Affleck's Argo movie.

Based on real-life events that took place during the Iran hostage crisis of the late '70s, in addition to Bryan Cranston and Ben Affleck Argo features Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), and John Goodman. Affleck is also one of the film's producers, along with George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Taken 2 stars Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace, while Sinister features Ethan Hawke.

Ben Affleck Argo movie picture: Warner Bros.

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