Screen Gems brought Underworld Awakening back to the big screen with a $70 million budget and thanks to 3D and the return of Kate Beckinsale it looks like it will become the second highest opener in the franchise following $9.4 million on Friday.
Underworld Evolution, the second film in the franchise, opened with $26.8 million back in 2006 and it would appear Awakening will top out at $25 million should things fall into place. I saw the film yesterday, contributing to that Friday haul, and can’t imagine anyone familiar with the franchise not enjoying it. I know I did.
In second is the George Lucas-produced Red Tails, which people are saying is opening stronger than expected, but that’s only because this is an industry that always undervalues films aimed at black audiences. Thankfully not RopeofSilicon’s Box-Office Oracle, Laremy Legel, who predicted what looks like may be an extremely accurate $16.43 opening weekend for the Tuskegee Fighter Group feature.
The Hollywood Reporter even mentions how Lucas had a hard time getting the film off the ground because of an all-black cast, which forced Lucas to fun the $58 million budgeted film himself including another $35 in distribution costs. Was it worth it?
In fourth, Warner Bros. finally rolled out Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close across the country and into 2,630 theaters. The film is opening a little weaker than some expected with $3.1 million on Friday, but a reported A- CinemaScore suggests word-of-mouth may be in the film’s favor.
In fifth, another one of the weekend’s new releases in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire shows up, pulling in $2.9 million on Friday for what should be an $8 million weekend.
I have included Friday’s top ten directly below and will be back on Sunday with a full box-office recap.