Box Office: ‘Sinister’ takes Friday as ‘Taken 2’ aims for weekend no. 1

It looks like it will be a busy weekend at the box office.

Summit Entertainment’s “Sinister” was the surprise box office winner Friday night as the well reviewed horror flick found $7.4 million on Friday for what could be a $17-18 million three-day. That’s in line with what the studio was hoping for. However, it’s finding stiff competition from newcomer “Argo” and holdover “Taken 2.”

Ben Affleck’s “Argo” grossed $5.9 million on Friday and could end up with a $16-18 million three-day gross. Fueled by strong reviews and raves from major print publications such as the LA Times, the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal, “Argo” is appealing to the older audience that usually waits till the second or third weekend for a well received thriller. Warner Bros. was publicly looking for a high teens or $20 million take for “Argo,” but a $24-25 gross would have been more in line with studio expectations.

Last week’s champ, “Taken 2,” isn’t, um, taking the new films’ possible assault on the top spot lightly. The 20th Century Fox release found another $7 million for $71.2 million in just eight days. Even if it doesn’t retain the no. 1 title, “Taken 2” is on a quick ride to a superb $100 million-plus take.

Still going strong as the first choice for families is Sony Pictures Animation’s “Hotel Transylvania.” After surprisingly discarding Disney’s “Frankenweenie” last weekend, “Transylvania” pulled in $4.2 million on for $89 million to date.

Proving that Kevin James’ star power may have been limited to just one film, Sony Pictures’ “Here Comes the Boom” grossed just $3.6 million on Friday. The family themed comedy likely was hurt by the continuing strength of studio stablemate “Hotel Transylvania” and mostly negative reviews.

CBS Films released the R-rated comedy “Seven Psychopaths” on 1,480 screens for a $1.3 million gross. “Psychopaths” should find between $4-6 million for the weekend.

Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.