I don’t think anyone ever considered Liam Neeson to be an action hero, but after this weekend, they might.Â His action vehicle Taken grossed a terrific $24.6 million this weekend, proving that a male-driven movie could survive over Super Bowl weekend.Â A straightforward Jason-Bourne-as-a-dad plot and good reviews didn’t hurt.
The Uninvited, also new this weekend, debuted to a more moderate $10.5 million putting it in third place.Â The gross didn’t reach the heights of recent horror movies The Unborn or My Bloody Valentine 3D which may have more to do with it opening third among them than with its bad reviews.Â Horror fans always show up when they haven’t had any product in a while, but two horror movies last month meant they weren’t going to rush out for another one this month.
The weekend’s third new release, Renee Zellweger’s New in Town, was an outright flop with $6.8 million, not that that was surprising to anyone.Â Most prognosticators pegged the opening of the buzz-less romantic comedy even lower, at around $4-5 million.
The top ten estimates, in millions of dollars (total gross in parenthesis):
- Taken – 24.6
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop – 14.0 (83.4)
- The Uninvited – 10.5
- Hotel for Dogs – 8.7 (48.2)
- Gran Torino – 8.6 (110.5)
- Slumdog Millionaire – 7.7 (67.2)
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – 7.2 (32.8)
- New in Town – 6.8
- My Bloody Valentine 3D – 4.3 (44.6)
- Inkheart – 3.7 (12.8)
If Taken hadn’t surprised, Paul Blart very well could’ve tripled-repeated in the #1 spot.Â That didn’t happen, but the Kevin James vehicle will easily surpass the $100 million mark soon — something Gran Torino did just this past week.
Slumdog Millionaire is capitalizing on its Oscar nominations with $7.7 million this weekend and a $67.2 million total gross to date.Â Troublingly, however, none of the other Best Picture nominees are — Benjamin Button already made most of its $100 plus gross before nominations were announced, but Frost/Nixon, Milk, and The Reader have all failed to cross even the $25 million mark so far.
Best Foreign Language Film contender The Class opened in only six theaters but grossed $80,934 for a $13,489 per-theater average.
Inkheart has been having a tough time, and dropped by over 50% this weekend to $3.7 million.Â With only $12.8 million in the bank, it’s a big flop.Â But check out our Inkheart premiere interviews anyway.
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