Odds and ends for October 8
Finnish couple wins wife-carrying event
NEWRY, Maine (AP) — A Finnish couple has added to their victories by taking first place in the North American Wife Carrying Championship at Maine’s Sunday River ski resort.
Taisto Miettinen and Kristina Haapanen traveled from Helsinki, Finland — where they won the World Wife Carrying Championship — for Saturday’s contest. The Sun Journal reports that the couple finished with a time of 52.58 seconds on a course that includes hurdles, sand traps and a water hole.
The winners receive the woman’s weight in beer and five times her weight in cash.
For Miettinen and Haapanen, that meant a check for $530. They shared their beer winnings with the second- and third- place finishers — Jesse Wall and Christine Arsenault of South Paris and David and Lacey Castro of Lewiston.
Neeson doubles the take with $50M
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Critics don’t like “Taken 2,” but Liam Neeson’s action sequel has proved twice the hit among fans as the original movie was.
“Taken 2” led the box office with $50 million domestically over opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. That’s double the haul for Neeson’s “Taken,” which took in $24.7 million in its U.S. debut in early 2009.
“Taken” went on to become a $145 million smash for Neeson, the Academy Award-nominated star of “Schindler’s List” who has become an unlikely action hero in his 50s.
In “Taken 2,” Neeson returns as a retired CIA agent using his expert espionage and killing skills to take on a gang of thugs out for revenge against him and his family.
“He gives hope to aging men,” said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. “He’s done the reverse of most actors, where you do the action stuff when you’re younger then do the more introspective work when you’re older. He’s sort of turned it around. When he’s 80, he’ll probably be kicking even more butt.”
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