I’m reading a THR piece reporting that Liam Neeson‘s Taken 2 paycheck is $10 million, up from the $1 million he received for the original. They’ve shortchanged the strapping Irishman on both counts. He’ll make more than double that when the film is done in worldwide theaters. I’ve heard Neeson got paid $12 million upfront for Taken 2, (he got $2 million for the first). And since that $12 million sequel paycheck was an advance against a comparable percentage of gross, Neeson stands to make a heckuva lot more for the special set of skills he possesses. The $45 million-budget sequel grossed $49.5 million in its opening weekend, and has already hit $117 million worldwide, according to Rentrak.

If Neeson isn’t in a gross-collecting position yet, he will be shortly. All of this happened, you’ll recall, because Neeson didn’t want to do the second film, and walked away from the bargaining table. He finally agreed to do the movie, under his terms. Just saying no put him in an enviable bargaining position. They are making noises about trying to mount Taken 3, but I would be surprised if Neeson does another. After making more here than on any film in his long career, Neeson can afford to be choosy and if he wants to do a sequel, how about Love Actually 2?

The other mind-blowing thing about Neeson: who would have guessed that after The Grey and the Taken films, he would become Hollywood’s hottest action star at age 60?