Spy thriller Taken snatched the top box office spot this weekend, raking in $24.6 million and helping fuel the first $1 billion in January ticket sales in Hollywood history.
Even in the face of Super Bowl events, box-office revenue remained strong this weekend, grossing an estimated $103 million, up 1.3 percent from last year's $102 million, according to industry tracking firm Media by Numbers.
Meanwhile, movie attendance rose 16 percent for the month.
Taken stars Liam Neeson as a former CIA operative trying to track down a kidnapping ring which plans to sell his daughter to the sex trade. The movie received$24.6 million in just under 3,200 theaters, for an average of about $7,700 per theater, and it played to a mix of men and women, said a spokesman for its distributor, 20th Century Fox. Fox is a unit of News Corp.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which slipped to the No. 2 spot after two straight weeks at No. 1, took in $14 million over the weekend, boosting its three-week total to $83.4 million.
Landing in the No. 3 spot was the new supernatural thriller The Uninvited with $10.5 million. It was released by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.
The movie is a remake of a South Korean thriller that pits two sisters against their potentially evil stepmother.
Hotel for Dogs earned fourth place with $8.7 million, and Gran Torino followed in fifth with $8.6 million.
Audiences have generated an unprecedented $1.03 billion in revenue in a month that is not known for its big box office. That's an increase of nearly 19 percent from last January's $867.2 million, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media by Numbers.
Going to the movies is the new vacation, said Dergarabedian.