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Surprise hits from past Januarys

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These releases found success amid the post-holiday slumpBy Kate ErblandSpecial to MSN MoviesThe month of January has long been considered a dumping ground for films, a frozen tundra of cinematic waste, the perfect month to jettison films that couldn't quite hack it during the blockbuster-filled summer months or the end-of-the-year crowd of films vying for Oscar (and other awards) attention. That dumping-ground mentality also means that January has typically been home to a hodgepodge of flicks -- cheapo horror films and flimsy romantic comedies and the odd action outing -- and while that means that there are yards and yards of forgettable film unspooling during the coldest month of the year, it also means that the occasional mega-hit could just so happen to lurk among their ranks. The following 10 films are not the top 10 highest-earning January releases of all time (though it's close), but they're some of the most unexpectedly successful January openers ever. A mix of the memorable ("Taken"), the forgettable ("The Hand That Rocks the Cradle") and the just plain terrible ("The Devil Inside"), these January films might not be the best that each year had to offer, but they were certainly good enough to get moviegoers to venture outside for fresh entertainment.Bing: More about 'Taken' | More on 'Contraband'Want more Movies? Be sure to like MSN Movies on Facebook and follow MSN Movies Twitter.(Universal Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures / 20th Century Fox)
© Universal Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures / 20th Century Fox
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