If studio predictions turn out to be correct, the box office competed effectively against the Super Bowl on Sunday, with the thriller flick Taken taking in $24.6 million, making it the second-highest earner ever on a Super Bowl weekend. It is difficult, however, to estimate the effect on ticket sales of the Super Bowl. Studio executives believe that Taken 's audience was 52 percent male and 60 percent over the age of 60. Ordinarily, top Super Bowl weekend films are primarily attended by kids and women. (Last year's Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour remains the top earner for a Super Bowl weekend.) But two new films targeting those groups appeared to falter, with the horror film The Uninvited taking in about $10.5 million, and the romantic comedy New in Town, about $6.8 million. Oscar nominees performed poorly for the most part. Frost/Nixon and Milk barely lapped up $1.4 million. The Reader garnered just $2.4 million and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button managed $3.6 million. However, Slumdog Millionaire , which added a new award from the Directors Guild of America over the weekend, continued to perform solidly, earning $7.7 million to bring its total to $67.2 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers 1. Taken , $24.6 million; 2. Paul Blart Mall Cop , $14 million; 3. The Uninvited, $10.5 million; 4. Hotel for Dogs, $8.7 million; 5. Gran Torino, $8.6 million; 6. Slumdog Millionaire , $7.7 million; 7. Underworld Rise of the Lycans , $7.2 million; 8. New in Town , $6.7 million; 9. My Bloody Valentine 3-D , $4.3 million; 10. Inkheart , $3.7 million.

02/02/2009