After missing in action from Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Kate Beckinsale returns to sink her teeth into the box office with Underworld Awakening, the 4th installment in the vampire-werewolf series. Steven Soderbergh brings us action flick Haywire while executive producer George Lucas hopes Red Tails won’t tank. Finally in wide release this weekend we also have Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
Considering previous Kate Beckinsale Underworld flicks have all opened to good numbers ($21.7M for the first and $26.8M for the second) in first place, it’s normal to expect Underworld Awakening will at the very least start between those two on top of the box office. I’d say $25 million sounds about right with the help of 3D and IMAX inflated ticket prices.
2nd place is tricky, between former leader Contraband and newcomer Red Tails, both going for about $14 million or so. Now Red Tails has been a long time coming, initially set to open in 1992. But the years passed and no studio wanted to commit so producer George Lucas ultimately paid $58 million out of his own pocket to make the film. So if this tanks, Lucas is the only one losing money. For a billionaire like him, that’s pocket change. Ultimately it was his dream project and in his shoes I would have done the same. If you want to know more about the film, check out this trailer.
4th place is also tricky, between Beauty and the Beast and the newly expanded Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, starring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and newcomer Tomas Horn. Unlike The Iron Lady last week, this flick is expanding from 6 to 2630 theaters so a bigger take is to be expected. So $13 million from Beauty and the Beast and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is what I say.
Since we already rounded up the top 5 we’ll finish with 6th place, having Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Haywire fight for it. Funnily enough, both are action flicks about spies, main difference being that Ghost Protocol is in its 6th week so that makes Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire not that hot for audiences, despite positive reviews. Around $7 to $8 million is what I recon they’ll both do. I hope I’m wrong about Haywire, I really do.
Next week Liam Nesson goes up against a pack of wolves in The Grey, Sam Worthington is a Man on a Ledge while Katherine Heigl falls for Terra Nova‘s Jason O’Mara in the sort of action-romantic comedy One For the Money (looking very much like The Bounty Hunter in reverse).