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‘Argo’ again second at the weekend box office

Ben Affleck’s “Argo” did well in its second week at the box office, but not as well as ‘‘Paranormal Activity 4,’’ which debuted at No. 1 with $30.2 million. (Though impressive, that’s a big drop from the $40 million and $50 million opening weekends of the last two installments of the franchise.) Meanwhile, Tyler Perry failed to find an audience for ‘‘Alex Cross,’’ starring Perry as author James Patterson’s brilliant criminal profiler. The movie landed with a thud, opening at No. 5 with $11.8 million. Affleck’s Iran hostage tale remained at No. 2 with $16.6 million, dropping just 15 percent from its debut. Big studio releases often drop 50 percent or more in subsequent weekends, but ‘‘Argo’’ has proven a hit with critics and audiences alike. Affleck, who also directed ‘‘Argo,’’ plays a CIA specialist who concocts a wild plan to rescue six Americans hiding in Tehran after the 1979 takeover of the US embassy there. Liam Neeson’s action sequel ‘‘Taken 2,’’ which had been No. 1 the previous two weekends, slipped to fourth place with $13.4 million, while Adam Sandler’s animated hit ‘‘Hotel Transylvania’’ did well at No. 3 with $13.5 million. In limited release, ‘‘The Sessions’’ did solid business, opening with $121,005 in four theaters in New York City and Los Angeles. “The Sessions’’ stars John Hawkes and Helen Hunt in the true-life story of a man paralyzed by polio and stuck in an iron lung most of his life, who hires a sexual surrogate so he can lose his virginity. (AP)

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