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'Taken' Scores a B.O. Touchdown!

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Feb 02, 2009 | 10:52am EST

The first billion-dollar January is capped off by the biggest overall Superbowl weekend as the nation's theatres score a touchdown and the extra point! 

Taken starring Liam Neeson tops the box-office with the second best ever Superbowl Weekend debut with $24.625 million.

This better-than-expected opening ranks second only to last year's Hannah Montana concert film in 3-D which generated a massive $31.1 million while exceeding even the most ambitious estimates.

Not one to be pushed aside gently, Paul Blart: Mall Cop held strong with $14 million and a miniscule 35% third weekend drop as the film approaches the $100 million mark.

In third was the PG-13 rated horror film The Uninvited which earned $10.5 million, while in fourth place was Hotel For Dogs which sees its cumulative gross at nearly $50 million milk bones.

Finally in fifth place is the almighty Gran Torino which continues its amazing ride and now finds its domestic gross at $110 million.

Superbowl weekend this year is estimated at $129 million for all films in the marketplace and beats last year's $127.7 million by just 1%.

No question that the unexpected success of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, (which has contributed $83.4 million to the January bottom line) and Gran Torino (which has added around $100 million to January's coffers) has put us over the top with a combined $180 plus million that made this January record a reality.

As the momentum continues and audiences continue to embrace the moviegoing habit, there is no question that going to the movies has become a favorite recessionary passtime.

THREE-DAY STUDIO ESTIMATES (source by Media By Numbers

Taken (Fox) - $24.6M; 3183 theaters; $7,736 PTA; $24.6 cume

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Sony/Columbia) - $14M; 3206 theaters; $4,367 PTA; -35%, $83.4M cume

The Uninvited (Paramount) - $10.5M; 2344 theaters; $4,485 PTA; $10.5M cume

Hotel for Dogs (Paramount) - $8.7M; 3160 theaters; $2,755 PTA, -32%, $48.2M cume

Gran Torino (Warner Bros.) - $8.6M; 3015 theaters; $2,852 PTA, -47%, $110.5M cume

Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight) - $7.7M; 1633 theaters; $4,703 PTA, -28%, $67.2M cume

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Sony/Screen Gems); $7.2M; 2942 theaters; $2,447 PTA, -65%, $32.8M cume

New in Town (Lionsgate); $6.8M; 1941 theaters; $3,478 PTA, $6.8M cume 

My Bloody Valentine 3-D (Lionsgate); $4.3M; 1406 theaters; $3,030 PTA, -57%, $44.6M cume

Inkheart (Warner Bros.); $3.7M; 2655 theaters; $1,394 PTA, -51%, $12.8M cume

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