08/10/2012 11:31 BST | Updated 08/12/2012 05:12 GMT

TAKEN 2: Liam Neeson Shares His Theory About Why People Are Watching His Film, And Will There Be Another?

Liam Neeson's big-budget sequel Taken 2 has taken a satisfying $50m at the US box office in its opening weekend, taking it to the country's top cinema spot.

This is double that of Taken's original outing in 2009, which will come as a pleasant surprise to its star Liam Neeson, who only took the original role of highly-trained CIA operative Brian Mills, because it meant "three months in Paris, and then straight to DVD".

Liam Neeson in action again for Taken 2

"We were all pleasantly surprised," he remembers, chatting in London. "It came out in France, moderately successful, and then it came out in South Korea, phenomenally successful and the next thing you knew, my nephew's telling he he's watching it on his computer. I thought, 'That's it, we're finished.' But they started hyping it with these tiny spots at big events, and the next thing you know..." he shrugs.

The original film saw Mills go all out, using his CIA training and a father's obsession to track down his kidnapped daughter Kim (played by Maggie Grace in both films). In the sequel, its the turn of Mills and his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) to be bundled off, with Kim left to track them down - with the use of distance-defining grenades among other things - nobody's pretending it's the most realistic film on the board), so why does Neeson think both films have caught such a wave among cinema-goers? He has a theory...

Liam Neeson is Brian - one man out to protect his family

"When the first film came out in America in 2009, the world had turned upside down. Our elected leaders, so-called pillarsof society, bankers, were shafting us, everyone felt vulnerable scared and nervous.

"So people were seeking entertainment, Taken and a couple of others, where someone isn't going to call a figure of authority when he's in trouble, he's going to do it himself, that gave people a guilty pleasure...

"I think he's very vulnerable, an overprotective dad, not some superhero. He's led a very covert, professional life, and missed out on his daughter's upbringing, desperately trying to make up for that time, and failing, the way most fathers feel, I think."

So does the box office success of the sequel mean we'll be seeing them all in action again for Taken 3?

"Well, 60's the new 40, but it's starting to hurt," moans Neeson, pointing at his knees, the main culprits.

"I think we're finished, that's it... Mind you, I thought we were finished with the first one.

"Maggie's very fit. If there is a sequel, it should be based on her character, I think."

Taken 2 is in the cinemas now. Watch the trailer below...