Box Office: Liam is King With ‘Unknown’

Liam Neeson continues to enjoy his new status as an action star as his new film Unknown won the box office this weekend. It was just over a year that Taken became an unlikely box office hit, earning over $144 M during its theatrical run. The 58 year-old actor is off to another solid start; Unknown made $21.7 M over the weekend.

Warner Brothers have to be pleased with that, because the film has a modest budget of around $30 M, the film is sure to be profitable. Boding well for the film is the fact that audiences seemed to enjoy the film more than critics.  Warner Brothers reported something highly unusual: over 54% of film goers were over the age of 50.

That seems to point directly to the appeal of Neeson, because typically that age group does not seek out this type of film. Good for him, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Coming in at number two was I Am Number Four (insert your own joke here).  Though the movie was critically panned, audiences seemed largely pleased by the film giving it a solid B+. The film earned $19.5, M which was below expectations. Since the target audience (tweens and young adults) usually gets to the theater on opening weekend, this film will have to rely on a lot of repeat business to recoup its estimated $60 M budget.

I Am Number Four is in a virtual tie with Gnomeo and Juliet, which made $19.4 M.  That total is likely to climb when President’s Day numbers are factored in. Lots of moms will be taking their kids to the theater during their day off of school. Gnomeo and Juliet only dropped 23% from last weekend.

Adam Sandler’s Just Go With It dropped 40% for fourth place with $18.2 M. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son was the number five  film, earning $17M.  This is a bit lower than its predecessors (Big Momma’s House $25 M; Big Momma’s House 2 $27 M).

Outside the top five:

  • Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never has made $48 M over two weeks.
  • The King’s Speech passed the $100M mark ($103 M).
  • The Roommate has quietly doubled its budget of $16 M
  • The Eagle never landed; it has only made $15 M over its first two weeks.
  • Cedar Rapids only played on 102 screens, but had the highest per/screen total ($8,912)

Source [Box Office Mojo, EW]

*These totals are based on the standard weekend. The four day holiday weekend totals will differ.

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