Early Stats for "Red Tails" and "Haywire" Not Looking Good, "Underworld: Awakening" Still The One to Beat This Weekend

Posted 6:10 PM January 17th, 2012 by Senh Duong

George Lucas put a lot of his own money into making and marketing “Red Tails,” a war epic about a group of African-American pilots who fought against the Germans in World War II. There’s reportedly an hour of spectacular aerial battles. Yet, I don’t think that’s enough to put enough people in seats to make back his investment.

Red Tails

This week, it’s going up against two other action movies: Steven Soderberg’s well-reviewed martial arts thriller “Haywire” starring Muay Thai fighter Gina Carano; and “Underworld: Awakening,” the fourth installment of the vampire vs. werewolf franchise starring Kate Beckinsale.

I’m not sure if audiences can handle that much action in one week. Each film in the “Underworld” franchise has consistently opened in the $20M range. With Beckingsale returning to kick more hairy werewolf asses, it’s the favorite to win the weekend and take up the bulk of the action crowd. “Haywire” and “Red Tails” will have to fight for seconds.

To gauge the awareness for each film, I compared the stats for them on Rotten Tomatoes. I looked at the number of voters who “want to see” each film, Facebook likes, and Google +1’s. “Underworld: Awakening” came out way ahead in each of those stats, in particular the number of voters who ‘want to see” each film. “Haywire” came in second, and “Red Tails” came in a close third. The numbers are 20.4K, 7.8K, and 6.1K respectively.

Underworld: Awakening

If “Underworld” is expected to have a weekend gross of $20-25M, then “Haywire” and “Red Tails” will probably fall in the $7-10M range.

HSX also shows similar prospects. It’s predicting that “Underworld: Awakening” would gross $58.15M for its entire theatrical run. “Red Tails” is at $30.5M, way below the $93M that Lucas put into the film. “Haywire” is last of the three with $23.2M. Remember, these aren’t actual numbers, just predictions based on user data.

For “Haywire,” these numbers aren’t bad because it was made for only $25M.


For “Red Tails,” these initial stats point to a potential bomb. That’s too bad. Lucas had to finance and market the film with his own money because studios didn’t think a war epic featuring a mostly African-American cast would make enough to justify such a huge budget.

Lucas has a lot of work to do between now and Friday to generate more awareness for the film.

Social media numbers from Rotten Tomatoes:

“Underworld: Awakening:”
Want to See: 93% of 20,419 voters
Facebook Likes: 366
Googe +1: 34

Want to See: 90% of 7,834 voters
Facebook Likes: 290
Google +1: 18,

“Red Tails:”
Want to See: 88% of 6,115 voters
Facebook Likes: 155
Google +1: 14

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