Liam Neeson film Taken has debuted at the top of the US box office after opening on Super Bowl weekend.

The 20th Century Fox film sprinted into the endzone with $24.6 million (£17.3 million) to achieve the second-best Super Bowl debut ever, after 2008's Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds.

Taken sees Neeson as a former secret services operative who wreaks bloody revenge when his teenage daughter (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped while holidaying in Europe.

"We had confidence in the movie. Everything worked, "said Fox senior vice president of distribution Bert Livingston.

"You had an effective campaign and people came. And there is no male-driven film for weeks to come," he told Variety.

Horror film The Uninvited, starring David Strathairn and Elizabeth Banks, entered in third with $10.5 million (£7.8 million) while Lionsgate romantic comedy New in Town could only reach eighth after its first weekend on release.

Comedy hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop fell one place to second while Gran Torino remained in the to five in its eighth week in cinemas.a

The top ten films in the US are: (last week's position)

1 Taken (-)
2 Paul Blart: Mall Cop (1)
3 The Uninvited (-)
4 Hotel For Dogs ()
5 Gran Torino (3)
6 Slumdog Millionaire (5)
7 Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2)
8 New in Town (-)
9 My Bloody Valentine 3D (6)
10 Inkheart ()

02/02/2009 08:27:06