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Box Office Report: The Grey Leads the Pack

The Grey, starring Liam Neeson and distributed by Open Road Films, opened to an estimated $20 million this weekend, taking the top spot at the box office.

The Grey, starring Liam Neeson and distributed by Open Road Films, opened to an estimated $20 million this weekend, taking the top spot at the box office.

At number two, Underworld Awakening dipped 51 per cent to an estimated $12.5 million. That's a stronger hold than any of the previous Underworld movies had, and its $45.1 million total through 10 days is also a franchise best.

Coming in third was Liongate’s One For the Money, starring Katherine Heigl, which grossed $11.8 million over the weekend, lower than Lionsgate's last Groupon-promoted movie The Lincoln Lawyer, which opened at $13.2 million.

According to a Lionsgate spokesperson, the initial Groupon e-mail blast reached 20 million people, most of whom were female (85 per cent of Groupon's users are women). While official figures aren't available, exit polling indicated that 34 per cent of One For the Money's audience had heard about the Groupon promotion, and 11 per cent actually bought their tickets through the service. Out of the people who did use the promotion, 93 per cent of them indicated that they would not have attended the movie otherwise. Some rough math based on these figures suggests that the "Groupon bump" probably didn't amount to much more than $1 million.

At fourth place, the George Lucas-directed Red Tails fell 45 per cent to an estimated $10.4 million with a total of $33.8 million.

The weekend's third new film, Summit Entertainment’s action-thriller Man on a Ledge, starring Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks, took fifth place at the box office with $8.3 million.

Among Academy Award Best Picture contenders, Warner Bros.' Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close generated the most business, grossing $7.1 million for a total of $21.1 million.

Fox Searchlight's The Descendants saw a nice Oscar bump as it added more than 1,400 theaters to its run, grossing $6.6 million from 2,001 locations -- the biggest weekend gross since the film's opening -- for a total of $58.8 million.

Awards frontrunner The Artist, from the Weinstein Company, also expanded this weekend, grossing $3.3 million from 897 theaters for a total of $16.7 million.

A Separation, nominated for an Oscar for best foreign langauge film (Iran), scored a strong location average of $9,051 in grossing $281K from 31 locations for a total of $893K. Sony Pictures Classics is distributing the film in the U.S.

Wim Wenders' Pina, nominated for Best Documentary, also continued to do well, grossing $185K for a total of $1 million. IFC/Sundance Selects is handling the film domestically.

Roadside Attractions' Albert Nobbs--which earned Glen Close an Oscar nomination for Best Actress--debuted to $772K, grossing a total of $893K including earnings from an awards qualifying run.

Box office numbers were obtained on boxofficemojo.com.

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