Neeson film wins at box office
Liam Neeson's The Grey has topped the weekend US box office with 20 million dollars, according to studio estimates, continuing the actor's success as an action star in the winter months.
The Alaskan survivalist thriller opened above expectations with a performance on par with previous Neeson thrillers Taken and Unknown.
Those films, both January-February releases, opened with 24.7 million dollars and 21.9 million dollars, respectively.
But The Grey, which has received good reviews, drove home the strong appeal of Neeson, action star.
It is an unlikely turn for the 59-year-old Neeson, previously better known for his dramatic performances, like those in Schindler's List and Kinsey.
"Liam is a true movie star, period," said Tom Ortenberg, chief executive of Open Road Films. It is the second release for the newly-formed distributor, created by theatre chains AMC and Regal.
"My guess is that Liam Neeson in action thrillers would work just about any time of year."
January is often a dumping ground for less-stellar releases, a tradition held up by two badly reviewed new wide releases: Man On A Ledge, with Sam Worthington, and One For The Money with Katherine Heigl.
One For The Money fared better, earning 11.8 million dollars, while Man On A Ledge opened with 8.3 million dollars.