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Weekend Box Office: The Grey Claws Its Way to the Top, Man on a Ledge Barely Clings to Top Five

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By Chris Kavan - 01/29/12 at 08:03 PM CT

It was another successful box office weekend (compared to last year) as Liam Neeson held off a pack of wolves and wound up on top while scathing reviews didn't stop One for the Money from being a modest hit.

Coming out on top with $20 Million, The Grey represents another solid film for leading man Neeson. While it opened a bit lower than both Taken ($24.7 million) and Unknown ($21.9 million) considering those were both trying to take advantage of a Bourne-type situation while The Grey is all about survival (and angry wolves), the numbers are looking pretty good. It just goes to show that when audiences know exactly what they're going to get, it tends to make the box office look that much better.

Opening in third, One for the Money managed to corner the female market (which made up 79% of the audience) and trump harsh reviews and box office analysts to wind up with $11.75 million. Compared to Katherine Heigle's The Killers ($15.8 million) and Life as We Know It ($14.5 million) it may seem like this movie is step down, but numbers were predicted to be much lower, so this has to be seen as an encouraging sign, thought the B- score is a bit below average, meaning it won't have much for legs in the coming weeks.

The week's other new wide-release opening, Man on a Ledge, could only muster up a fifth-place showing with $8.3 million. While the title clearly stated what audiences were going to see, a rather muddled ad campaign may have hurt the overall total. The audience was evenly split between men and women, and the B+ score may mean it will have a bit of life yet, but it just couldn't compete with killer wolves.

Dropping about 51% from last week, Underworld Awakening still managed to come in second with $12.5 million. That may seem like a steep drop, but it actually held up better in the second week than any previous Underworld film and the $45.1 million total is also a series best. Looks like bringing Kate Beckinsale back was the correct move.

Dropping about 45% from its opening, Red Tails brought in another $10.4 million - good enough for fourth place. The story about the Tuskegee Airmen has now brought in $33.8 million. The film still has a long ways to go to earn back its $58 million budget - not taking into account marketing.

Outside the top five, The Descendents clearly enjoyed some awards buzz at it expanded once again to over 2000 theaters and jumped over 176% to land in seventh place with $6.5 million. The film has now brought in nearly $59 million.

Although it fell outside the top ten, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol broke the $200 million mark by taking in $3.5 million and winding up with $202.6 million. While it's looking it will fall just short of the $215 million of M:I 2, it still represents a strong showing from the series and globally it looks like it will top all its predecessors.

Next week Daniel Radcliffe will meet The Woman in Black, found footage meets super heroes (or super villains) in Chronicle and the most feel-good movie of the year gives us a Big Miracle. We'll hope that the winning streak continues over the somewhat erratic Super Bowl weekend.

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