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The Grey In The Green

January 29, 2012

This weekend the late blooming as an action star Liam Neeson‘s reunion with director Joe CarnahanThe Grey took #1; Katherine Heigl‘s latest rom-com does better than it should have at #3 One For The Money indeed; The Sam Worthington led thriller Man on a Ledge ends up disappointing in 5th place…

Pamela McClintock of THR:

Liam Neeson’s The Grey–cementing the actor’s relatively new-found status as action star–raced past expectations to gross $20 milion in its debut at the domestic box office.

The Grey, directed by Joe Carnahan, led another good weekend at the box office. So far, 2012 revenues are running nearly 10 percent ahead of 2011 as moviegoing continues to pick up the pace.

Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road Films is distributing The Grey, about a group of men stranded in the Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash (the cast also includes Frank Grillo and Dermot Mulroney). The $25 million pic was produced by Liddell Entertainment and Scott Free Productions.

Audiences gave the action-thriller a B- CinemaScore, with males making up 60 percent of the audience. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested the film would open in the low to mid teens.

Fueled by older women, Katherine Heigl starrer One for the Money also beat expectations in grossing $11.8 million, although it lost the No. 2 slot to Screen Gems holdover Underworld: Awakening, which earned a strong $12.5 million in its second outing.

One for the Money–based on the popular Stephanie Plum detective novels by author Janet Evanovich — was fueled by fans of the book, i.e., older females. Females made up 79 percent of the audience, while 74 percent were over the age of 25. The pic received a B- CinemaScore.

Lionsgate raised eyebrows among some of its rivals when pacting with Groupon to offer discounted tickets for One for the Money. Roughly 20 million Groupon members were offered the chance to buy one ticket for $6, and $12 for two tickets. Lionsgate said 225,000 tickets were redeemed, although they weren’t all used this weekend, since they are good for the entire run of the film.

As with Underworld: Awakening, the George Lucas-produced Red Tails did strong business in its second weekend, grossing $10.4 million for a domestic cume of $33.8 million. Awakening has now earned $45.1 million, a franchise best at this point in its run.

Red Tails took the No. 4 splot, followed by the weekend’s third new film, action-thriller Man on a Ledge, starring Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks. The Summit Entertainment pic grossed a so-so $8.3 million. However, the pic scored the best CinemaScore of the three new films, a B+.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradin produced Man on a Ledge, about a hard-living police negotiator (Banks) who tries to talk down an ex-cop and fugitive (Worthington) who is standing on the ledge of a New York high-rise.

One twist — Lionsgate and Summit dated Man on a Ledge and One for the Money long before Lionsgate bought Summit (the marriage was consummated earlier this month). Normally, one company wouldn’t date two films on the same weekend.

Summit also offered discounted tickets for Man on a Ledge via Living Social.

Among the nine Oscar best picture contenders, Warner Bros.’ Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close generated the most business, grossing $7.1 million from 2,630 theaters for a cume of $21.1 million. The film, opening in six theaters on Christmas Day, waited until Oscar noms before expanding nationwide.

Fox Searchlight’s best picture contender The Descendants also impressed as it added more than 1,400 theaters back to its run, grossing $6.6 million from 2,001 locations for a domestic cume of $58.8 million and coming in No. 8.

Awards frontrunner The Artist moved up the chart to No. 12. From the Weinstein Co., the pic also expanded this weekend, grossing $3.3 million from 897 theaters for a cume of $16.7 million.

Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Jan. 27-Jan. 29

1. The Grey (1), Open Road Films/3,185, $20 million

2. Underworld: Awakening (2), Sony/3,078, $12.5 million, $45.1 million

3. One for the Money (1), Lionsgate/2,737, $11.8 million

4. Red Tails (2), Fox/2,573, $10.4 million, $33.8 million

5. Man on a Ledge (1), Summit/2,998, $8.3 million

6. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (6), Warner Bros./2,630, $7.1 million, $21.1 million

7. Contraband (3), Universal/2,650, $6.5 million, $56.4 million

8. The Descendants (11), Fox Searchlight/2,001, $6.6 million, $58.8 million

9. Beauty and the Beast (3D) (3), Disney/2,145, $5.3 million, $41.4 million

10. Haywire (2), Relativity/2,441, $4 million, $15.3 million

Next: Daniel Radcliffe sees the mysterious Woman In Black; Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski witness one Big Miracle in a true life whale tale; And you can Chronicle what happens when three Portland teens (Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan and Alex Russell) get super powers in this found footage pic.

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