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'The Grey' tops box office with $20M debut

Still of Liam Neeson in the 2012 film, 'The Grey.' (By Kimberley French - Photo courtesy of Open Road Films.)

January 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Liam Neeson proved once again that he is a bankable action star.

His survivalist thriller, "The Grey," debuted in the top spot at the box office this weekend with $20 million.

The R-rated movie, which has received good reviews, drove home the strong appeal of Neeson, action star. It's an unlikely turn for the 59-year-old Neeson, previously better known for his dramatic performances, like those in "Schindler's List" and "Kinsey."

Last week's box office champ, "Underworld Awakening," came in second with $12.5 million.

"One for the Money" took third place with $11.8 million.

The top films of the weekend were:

1. "The Grey," $20 million.
2. "Underworld: Awakening," $12.5 million.
3. "One for the Money," $11.8 million.
4. "Red Tails," $10.4 million.
5. "Man on a Ledge," $8.3 million.
6. "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," $7.1 million.
7. "The Descendants," $6.6 million.
8. "Contraband," $6.5 million.
9. "Beauty and the Beast," $5.3 million.
10. "Haywire," $4 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.