NEW YORK - "The Grey" topped the weekend box office with
$20 million, continuing Liam Neeson'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."January is often a dumping ground for less stellar releases.

Also opening were two badly reviewed wide releases: "Man on

Ledge," with Sam Worthington; and "One for the Money" with

Katherine Heigl.

"One for the Money" fared better, earning $11.8 million, while "Man on Ledge" opened with $8.3 million.

Last week's box-office leader, "Underworld: Awakenings," came

in second with $12.5 million.

Oscar favorites "The Descendants," Hugo" and "The Artist"sought to capitalize on their recent Academy Awards nominations.

Each expanded to more theaters and saw an uptick in business.