January 24, 2009 at 12:00 PM EST

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans was the early pacesetter in the weekend box office race, grossing $7.9 million on Friday. That first-day sum was perhaps a bit better than expected, and it kept the franchise flick comfortably ahead of last week’s champ, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which started off its second frame with $5.6 mil. Meanwhile, the weekend’s other big new release, Inkheart, trailed far behind with just $2.1 mil. Friday’s results are below, and please check back here on Sunday for the full weekend Box Office Report.

1. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans — $7.9 mil

2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop — $5.6 mil
3. Gran Torino — $4.3 mil
4. My Bloody Valentine 3D — $3.1 mil
5. Slumdog Millionaire — $2.8 mil

More Box Office News:

Box Office Preview: Will Underworld rise to No. 1?

EW.com’s Box Office Chart

Paul Blart: Mall Cop wins the weekend
Gran Torino drives away with a win
Batman was a blockbuster, but did 2008 bomb?

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