The action star's "Taken 3" grossed $1.6 million from pre-weekend evening showings at about 2,500 locations. That's slightly better than the $1.5 million
Going into the weekend, box-office analysts said the trilogy's finale should pull in up to $30 million in ticket sales from the U.S. and Canada through Sunday. The previous installment opened with nearly $50 million from its first three days and went on to gross a total of $140 million domestically.
Looking at a comparable weekend, last year's hit "Lone Survivor" took off with $1.7 million from its Thursday night wide debut on Jan. 9. The Universal Pictures war drama starring
"Taken 3," which cost about $48 million to make, was financed by French writer-producer Luc Besson's EuropaCorp and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
It is expected to knock the third and final "Hobbit" movie from the top of the box-office charts, ending its three-week lock on the No. 1 spot.