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Liam Neeson's The Grey tops US box office

Liam Neeson in The Grey

Story by Jack Foley

LIAM Neeson has continued to cement his reputation as one of Hollywood’s most bankable hard-men now that his new film, The Grey, has topped the US box office.

The Joe Carnahan-directed survival thriller surpassed expectations to gross $20 milion and maintain the healthy start to the US box office in 2012 (which is running nearly 10 per cent ahead of 2011’s figures).

Last week’s winner, Underworld: Awakening, slipped to second spot with a strong $12.5 million in its second weekend, while Katherine Heigl’s One For The Money came in third with $11.8 million – again ahead of expectations.

One For The Money‘s success was credited to fans of Stephanie Plum’s popular detective novels (written by Janet Evanovich) as exit polls showed that older females accounted for a significant part of the audience.

The only new release that disappointed was action-thriller Man On A Ledge, which boasts an ensemble led by Sam Worthington as well as Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell and Ed Harris.

The film grossed $8.3 million, which was slightly below expectation, to take fifth spot behind George Lucas holdover Red Tails, which took fourth spot with $10.4 million to continue to repay the faith shown in its story by its director.

Next story: Ryan Gosling talks Only God Forgives