Tyler Perry scored the largest debut of his career with the reprise of his cross-dressing character Madea in theaters this weekend. “Madea Goes to Jail” opened to a stellar $41.1 million, according to studio estimates from box office tracking firm Nielsen EDI.

In this episode, the mischievous grandma Madea lands in jail, where she meets a variety of mixed-up characters. “Jail” beats Perry’s previous best, 2006’s “Madea’s Family Reunion,” which opened at $30 million and grossed a total of $63.3 million.

The thriller “Taken” continues its strong run, taking second place in its fourth weekend with $11.4 million. The Liam Neeson film has collected $95.2 million to date. The animated “Coraline” held strong, landing in third with $11 million, for a total of $53.4 million.

“He’s Just Not That Into You” was fourth with $8.5 million, adding up to $70.1 million in three weeks.

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“Slumdog Millionaire,” which was honored with the best picture Oscar Sunday, was Number 5 with $8.1 million. It has taken in $98 million and will cross the $100 million mark this week. The movie was the only Oscar hopeful currently in the Top 10, but other contenders, such as “Milk” and “The Reader,” both of which won acting awards for Sean Penn and Kate Winslet, respectively, may receive a bit of a bounce in next week’s box office numbers.

Last week’s top earner, “Friday the 13th,” fell to number six with a dismal $7.8 million over the weekend. The only major newcomer this weekend, the cheerleading comedy “Fired Up!,” took ninth place with $6 million.

Box Office Grosses
Week Ending February 22, 2009

Rank Title Weekend Total Gross
1 Madea Goes to Jail (2009) $41.1M $41.1M
2 Taken (2008/I) $11.4M $95.2M
3 Coraline (2009) $11M $53.4M
4 He’s Just Not That Into You (2009) $8.54M $70.1M
5 Slumdog Millionaire (2008) $8.05M $98M
6 Friday the 13th (2009) $7.83M $55M
7 Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) $7.02M $27.7M
8 Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) $7M $121M
9 Fired Up! (2009) $6M $6M
10 The International (2009) $4.45M $17M