Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Ryan Gosling To Star In 'Blade Runner 2' Ryan Gosling To Star In 'Blade Runner 2' Watch: New Trailer For 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Flies Into The Galaxy Watch: New Trailer For 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Flies Into The Galaxy Watch: First Teaser Trailer For Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' 'Macbeth,' Todd Haynes' 'Carol,' Pixar's 'Inside Out' Lead 2015 Cannes Film Festival Line-Up 'Macbeth,' Todd Haynes' 'Carol,' Pixar's 'Inside Out' Lead 2015 Cannes Film Festival Line-Up Watch: Zack Snyder Teases The Full Trailer For ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' & Upcoming IMAX Event Watch: Zack Snyder Teases The Full Trailer For ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' & Upcoming IMAX Event Ryan Gosling & Edgar Wright Talk 'Lost River,' Shooting In Detroit, And Advice For First Time Filmmakers Ryan Gosling & Edgar Wright Talk 'Lost River,' Shooting In Detroit, And Advice For First Time Filmmakers Netflix & Marvel's 'Daredevil': The Pros, The Cons, The Verdict Netflix & Marvel's 'Daredevil': The Pros, The Cons, The Verdict Netflix's 'Daredevil' Is An Awesome Achievement And Marvel's Most Graphic & Grounded Effort To Date Netflix's 'Daredevil' Is An Awesome Achievement And Marvel's Most Graphic & Grounded Effort To Date Watch: Action-Packed Footage In 2 New “Avengers: Age of Ultron’ TV Spots, Plus Watch Interviews With The Entire Cast Watch: Action-Packed Footage In 2 New “Avengers: Age of Ultron’ TV Spots, Plus Watch Interviews With The Entire Cast Watch: Trailer For 'The Great Beauty' Director Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' Starring Michael Caine & Rachel Weisz Watch: Trailer For 'The Great Beauty' Director Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' Starring Michael Caine & Rachel Weisz Joss Whedon Says He's Not Making 'Avengers: Infinity War' Because It's "A Young Man’s Game" Joss Whedon Says He's Not Making 'Avengers: Infinity War' Because It's "A Young Man’s Game" Watch: Take 7 Minutes And Learn The History Of Film Editing Watch: Take 7 Minutes And Learn The History Of Film Editing 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Called "Amazing" And "More Emotional" With "Insane Action" After First Screening 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Called "Amazing" And "More Emotional" With "Insane Action" After First Screening Joss Whedon Calls 'Jurassic World' Clip "70s Era Sexist" Joss Whedon Calls 'Jurassic World' Clip "70s Era Sexist" The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Weekend Box Office: 'Underworld: Awakening' Sucks Its Way To #1, While 'Red Tails' Shoots Into #2

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist January 22, 2012 at 12:08PM

If there was ever a weekend that better illustrated the divide between audience and critics, we certainly can't remember it. Following a financially successful franchise pattern thus far, "Underworld: Awakening" joined the other films in the series in opening to over $20 million. In the grand scheme of this vampires vs. werewolves franchise, this opening comes in lower than the second installment, but a shade beyond the first and third.
9
Underworld Awakening Kate Beckinsale

If there was ever a weekend that better illustrated the divide between audience and critics, we certainly can't remember it. Following a financially successful franchise pattern thus far, "Underworld: Awakening" joined the other films in the series in opening to over $20 million. In the grand scheme of this vampires vs. werewolves franchise, this opening comes in lower than the second installment, but a shade beyond the first and third.

A good comparison for 'Awakening' is another franchise installment with an arbitrary subtitle, "Resident Evil: Afterlife." That picture was the fifth in the series, but it utilized 3D-inflated prices to go supernova, particularly worldwide, where it grabbed $296 million. 'Awakening' was viewed as a back-to-basics sequel after the last entry, "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans," was a prequel without series star Kate Beckinsale that grossed far lower than the previous films. With an opening in the mid $20s, it means Beckinsale has opened three pictures in this franchise over $20 million, an impressive achievement for an actress most wouldn't consider an A-Lister.

Red Tails

Like 'Awakening,' but slightly moreso, critics savaged "Red Tails," the independently produced WWII fighter pilot drama. But even with a significant run-time and a cast comprised of no-names and also-rans, the second place opening has to be considered a success. The film ran Lucasfilms just under (a reported) $60 million, so distributor Fox isn't exactly sweating this, though it isn't exactly a big enough number to get some of the black actors in the film mentioned on studio shortlists whenever they're looking for a generic leading man. "Black John Carter" is still a while away.

Falling out of the top spot was "Contraband," though the thriller held up moderately well, suggesting audiences are responding a bit stronger than they did for other Mark Wahlberg solo outings like "Shooter." Clearly, no one cared either way whether the former Funky Bunch leader could have prevented 9/11. Closely behind was the wide expansion for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," sporting a somewhat underwhelming per-screen average after four weeks out in arthouse theaters. The picture never broke out with critics, and awards committees have ignored it thus far, so the heat just wasn't there for this to play to massive numbers.

Beauty and the Beast 2

It was a sharper-than-expected drop for "Beauty and the Beast 3D," which didn't nearly have the opening, or the legs, of the 'Lion King' re-release. Not that this was unexpected, given that 'Beast' was never as popular a title, but Disney re-releasing a number of 3D-ified films from their catalog that also aren't as beloved as "The Lion King" might lead to diminished returns. It's impossible to ignore that 'Beast' was also opening in a vacuum where no other animation competition was being released.

Relativity was confident pushing "Haywire" as a low-temperature boutique actioner, ignoring their wealth of tentpole stars in favor of selling the movie as some indistinguishable punchfest starring a total no-name. Among many mistakes was releasing this on the same weekend as another genre picture with an ass-kicking female lead and a built-in audience. But while "Haywire" was the most critically approved movie being released this week, it might also be the most loathed, with audiences awarding the film a rare, and completely unfair, D+ – even worse than the grade acheived by "Drive" last September. "Haywire" was surprisingly cheap, with overseas rights selling for a bundle, so this opening is just about good enough, but hey – Cinemascore proves in this case that you can lead a horse to water, but sometimes they're still a fucking stupid horse with no taste and shitty standards.

"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"
"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"

Weekend two of "Joyful Noise" happened. Hope we can all agree on that. Behind the gospel film was the final stretch for "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," which shed a number of screens, though it should hit $200 million domestic within the next few days. There's still a tidy amount of business to be done overseas, so 'Ghost Protocol' is actually well on its way to becoming the most successful worldwide entry in the franchise. It's a Tom Cruise world, we're all just living in it. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" also dropped a number of screens as it finishes its run, likely short of $200 million, while "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" hung around the top ten, flirting with $100 million domestic.

Despite decent television ratings, the Globes did very little for select movies. "The Iron Lady" expanded further, though it couldn't maintain a very high per-screen numbers, collecting $3.7 million at 1,076 engagements. "The Artist" won the Best Picture Musical Or Comedy Award and the film expanded from 216 to 662 theaters, but its $2.4 million gross was accompanied by a feeble $3.5k per-screen average, as the film has totaled only $12 million in nine weeks of release. There was a bit more support for Best Picture Drama winner "The Descendants," though the picture dropped one hundred locations, grabbing $2.3 million at 560 locations, bringing its total over $50 million. Because America cares so much about awards, both films were outgrossed by the fifth weekend of "We Bought a Zoo." There is a lesson in this somewhere.


A wealth of potential awards contenders meant The Weinstein Company lost their zest for Shakespeare adaptation "Coriolanus." As a result, the quietly promoted film opened this weekend to $60k at nine locations. A strong per-screen debut was the skin-heavy documentary "Crazy Horse," though the film only opened on one New York screen, grossing $10k. Another doc, "Ultrasuede," only scored $4k at a single location, as no indie opener could come close to matching indie holdovers like "A Separation," which grossed $183k on thirteen screens, its $14k average spectacular for the fourth week of a foreign film. Also still doing strong business on only ten screens was the doc "Pina," which brought in $120k in week five, and "We Need To Talk About Kevin," grossing $77k at seven theaters. Support your local arthouse theater, boys and girls.

1. Underworld: Ad Nauseum (Sony/Screen Gems) - $25.4 million
2. Red Tails (Fox) - $19.1 million
3. Smugglers Gotta Smuggle (Universal) - $12.2 million ($46.1 mil.)
4. Don't Stand So Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close To Me (Warner Bros.) - $10.5 million ($11.2 mil.)
5. Haywire (Relativity) - $9 million
6. She Should've Picked Gaston 3D (Disney) - $8.5 million ($33.3 mil)
7. Joyful Noise (Warner Bros.) - $6 million ($21.9 mil.)
8. Mission: Impossible - A Game Of Shadows (Paramount) - $5.5 million ($197.3 mil.)
9. Sherlock Holmes: Ghost Protocol (Warner Bros.) - $4.8 million ($178.6 mil.)
10. The Girl With The Unfortunate Tattoo (Sony) - $3.7 million ($94.7 mil.)

This article is related to: Underworld: Awakening, Contraband, Beauty and the Beast, Haywire, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Red Tails, Weekend Box-Office


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates