Box Office Preview: It's 'Underworld' Over All


Salon Staff
January 20, 2012 12:45AM (UTC)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony's "Underworld: Awakening" should take a solid 3-D and IMAX enhanced bite out of the weekend box office with an opening domestic gross in the low-$20 million range.

Kate Beckinsale, whose sheer beauty gave co-presenter Seth Rogen some apparent difficulty at Sunday's Golden Globes, reprises her role as vampire warrior Selene in the fourth installment of the popular "Underworld" franchise.

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Fox's World War II drama "Red Tails," starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Terence Howard and Bryan Cranston, dives into theaters on a collision course with a mid-teen debut. A personal labor of love by executive producer George Lucas, the film tells the true story of pilots in the all-black Tuskegee training program and their important contributions to the war effort.

Universal's "Contraband" opened with a bigger-than-expected $24.3 million debut last weekend and should smuggle about $14 million in its second go around.

The 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" from Warner Bros. will have its first nationwide release this weekend as it expands from six to around 2,500 theaters and a likely gross in the $10 million to $12 million range. The film stars Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and newcomer Thomas Horn as a young boy traumatized by the loss of his father in the World Trade Center attacks.

Disney's 1991 family favorite "Beauty and the Beast" was given a 3-D makeover and had a solid $17.7 million re-release debut last weekend. Following up on the success of its "Lion King" 3-D reprise last September, Disney has clearly found the love in rekindling its animated classics and should enjoy a low-teen romance on "Beauty's" second weekend.

Relativity Media's action-thriller "Haywire" kicks and punches its way into theaters this weekend, with an expected debut of under $10 million. The R-rated Steven Soderbergh film stars newcomer and former mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano, as well as Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas.

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Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and provides box office analysis for The Associated Press.

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Online: www.Hollywood.com


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