'Madea Goes To Jail' Runs Away With Box-Office Loot

Oscar buzz brings Best Picture winner 'Slumdog Millionaire' back into top five.

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 [movie id="388652"]"Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail"[/movie] ($41.1 million)

#2 [movie id="340882"]"Taken"[/movie] ($11.4 million)

#3 [movie id="301308"]"Coraline"[/movie] ($11 million)

#4 [movie id="342857"]"He's Just Not That Into You"[/movie] ($8.5 million)

#5 [movie id="364450"]"Slumdog Millionaire"[/movie] ($8.1 million)

The box office was all over the place on Oscar weekend, with the top five showing off strong debuts and tough holdovers. With an estimated $142 million earned, it's the biggest post-Presidents Day weekend on record, suggesting that Hollywood's recession fears aren't holding up under audience enthusiasm.

No holdover could beat Tyler Perry. As expected, "Madea Goes to Jail" grabbed the top spot, though no one could have predicted the $41.1 million the comedy brought in. The last Madea outing, "Madea's Family Reunion," had an opening of $30 million this same weekend in 2006. Who wants to put bets on Perry's next installment debuting at $50 million?

So far, the top five spots in 2009 have been full of repeat business and familiar faces. This one was no exception, as Liam Neeson's "Taken" actually climbed a spot to sit at #2, with $11.4 million, bringing the thriller's total gross to $95.2 million.

"Coraline" was also a strong contender. Like "Taken," the film actually improved its position, jumping from #5 all the way up to #3 with $11 million, and a total gross of $53.4 million. It had the smallest drop-off of all the holdover films, undoubtedly due to Neil Gaiman informing fans via Twitter that this would be the last weekend to see the film in its intended 3-D format.

"He's Just Not That Into You" fell to #4 after Valentine's Day, suggesting that the romantic comedy had lost some luster once it wasn't a date-night requirement. It added $8.5 million to its total gross of $70.1 million.

While [movie id="369154"]"Friday the 13th"[/movie] and [movie id="367357"]"Confessions of a Shopaholic"[/movie] dropped to #6 and #7 respectively in only their second weeks, a wave of Oscar buzz carried "Slumdog Millionaire" back to the top five, where it hasn't been seen since the weekend of January 26. Now in its 15th week of release, it earned another $8.1 million, and a total gross of $98 million so far. Fox Searchlight plans to expand the film to an additional 2,500 locations next Friday, so the Best Picture winner may officially be a box-office smash by next weekend. (If it can top the take of [movie id="368253"]"Paul Blart: Mall Cop,"[/movie] film critics will undoubtedly sleep better at night.)

Upcoming Releases

Fox's [movie id="328448"]"Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li"[/movie] and Disney's [movie id="390709"]"Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience"[/movie] both go into wide release next weekend.

Check out everything we've got on "Madea Goes to Jail," "Taken" and "Slumdog Millionaire."

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