The box office continued on its winning way last weekend, chalking up sales rarely seen in January. Despite the gloomy economy and a cold snap that would ordinarily have discouraged moviegoers from lining up in front of ticket booths, the top 12 films grossed $129.5 million, up 10.59 percent from the $117.1 million it took in during the comparable week a year ago. Revenue for the entire month is up 22 percent from a year ago, while attendance was up 21 percent. The top film at the box office was the second week of Sony's Paul Blart Mall Cop , which took in $21.6 million, down just 32 percent from its opening weekend. Placing a close second was Sony's vampire flick, Underworld Rise of the Lycans , with $20.8 million. Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino also performed strongly, tallying $16.2 million and bringing its gross close to the $100-million mark. On a per theater basis, it outperformed the two films in front of it. And Fox Searchlight's Slumdog Millionaire moved up to No. 5 on the box-office chart with $10.7 million, thanks to a wider release and publicity surrounding its 10 Oscar nominations.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. Paul Blart Mall Cop, Sony, $21,623,182, 2 Wks. ($64,923,380); 2. Underworld Rise of the Lycans , Sony, $20,828,511, (New); 3. Gran Torino, Warner Bros., $16,244,462, 7 Wks. ($97,819,975); 4. Hotel For Dogs, Paramount, $12,860,944, 2 Wks. ($37,455,759); 5. Slumdog Millionaire, Fox Searchlight, $10,699,629, 11 Wks. ($56,065,245); 6. My Bloody Valentine 3-D, Lionsgate, $10,012,658, 2 Wks. ($37,687,394); 7. Inkheart, Warner Bros., $7,601,379, (New); 8. Bride Wars , 20th Century Fox, $6,868,664, 3 Wks. ($48,570,928); 9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button , Paramount, $6,085,919, 5 Wks. ($111,129,482); 10. Notorious , Fox Searchlight, $5,779,692, 2 Wks. ($31,874,538).
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