'Unknown' opens to No. 1 in North America box office

08:35, February 21, 2011      

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Unknown, an actioner/ thriller featuring Oscar-nominated Liam Neeson, opened atop the North America box office, grossing a projected $21.8 million on the Presidents' Day weekend, statistics provided by distributor Warner Bros. showed on Sunday.

The Liam Neeson vehicle, which represents Neeson's second foray into action-hero territory, had been promoted as a follow-up to the 2009 thriller Taken, also featuring Neeson, and opened at 3, 043 locations in Canada and the United States on Friday.

Co-starring with Diane Kruger and January Jones, Neeson played a man who finds his identity was taken by another person after he awakens from a four-day coma when he was attending a biotech conference in Berlin. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the neo- Hitchcockian flick's performance exceeded pre-release expectations, and is expected to reap more in the coming weeks.

Another major debut of the week, I Am Number Four, finished the weekend in the second place with $19.5 million during the Friday-Sunday period.

The DreamWorks Pictures' adaptation of a young adult science fiction novel was expected to perform well, but ended up in disappointment due to its familiar plot and unconvincing performances. Rottentomatoes.com labeled the sci-fi thriller as " noisy, derivative and ultimately forgettable."

Gnomeo & Juliet, a 3-D animated film from the Walt Disney Studios, raked in $19.4 million on its second weekend in release, ending in the third place. The family film, based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, features two garden gnomes coming to life and caught in forbidden love.

Just Go With It, a romantic comedy featuring Adam Sandler, was No. 4 with $18.2 million in receipts.
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, the other big debut of the weekend, was No. 5, garnering $17 million in ticket receipts.

Rounding out the top ten most popular films are:

-- No. 6: Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, $13.6 million;

-- No. 7: The King's Speech, $6.6 million;

-- No. 8: The Roommate, $4.1 million;

-- No. 9: The Eagle, $3.5 million;

-- No. 10: No Strings Attached, $3.1 million.

Source: Xinhua
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