Film News: ‘The Grey’ Knocks Off ‘Underworld: Awakening’ at Box Office

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CHICAGO – 2012 continues its trend for the fourth straight weekend with another new film coming in at number one. In a month of all sorts of new releases, “The Grey” is the fourth different film to win the box office on its opening weekend.

Starring Liam Neeson as a survivor of a plane crash in Alaska that must brave the elements and a hungry pack of wolves, “The Grey” grossed an estimated $20 million in its first weekend in theaters. The total was good enough to knock off last weekend’s champ, “Underworld Awakening,” which finished in second with an estimated $12.5 million.

The weekend’s other two new releases “One for the Money” and “Man on a Ledge” came in at three and five, respectively. Katherine Heigl’s obnoxious bounty hunter/comedy made an estimated $11.8 million, while Sam Worthington standing on the ledge of a building was intriguing enough for audiences to pay $8.3 million over the weekend.

The other news of note was “The Descendants” re-emerging into the top ten this weekend with a $6.6 million gross. The film expanded to 2,001 theaters on Friday, and the expansion raised the film 176% from its total gross last weekend.

Will the trend of a new release at number one continue next weekend when “The Woman in Black,” “Chronicle,” “The Innkeepers,” “Big Miracle,” and “W.E.” hit theaters, or can “The Grey” stop the trend and win for a second week in a row? We will have to wait until Super Bowl Sunday to find out.

1. The Grey– $20 million – new
2. Underworld Awakening– $12.5. million – down 51% — $45.1 million total
3. One for the Money– $11.8 million – new
4. Red Tails– $10.4 million – down 45% — $33.8 million total
5. Man on a Ledge — $8.3 million – new
6. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close– $7.1 million – down 29% — $21.1 million total
7. The Descendants – $6.6 million – up 176% — $58.8 million total
8. Contraband – $6.5 million – down 46% — $56.4 million total
9. Beauty and the Beast 3D – $5.3 million – down 39% — $41.1 million total
10. Haywire– $4 million – down 53% — $15.3 million total staff writer Tim Martens

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