"Underworld: Awakening" and "Red Tails" Exceed Box Office Expectations, "Haywire" Gets D+ Grade from Cinemascore

Posted 1:20 PM January 21st, 2012 by Senh Duong

This week at the box office, both “Underworld: Awakening” and “Red Tails” performed at the upper end of predictions. “Haywire” did as predicted, but gets trashed by audiences.

The fourth film of the “Underworld” franchise, which saw the return of Kate Beckinsale, did $9.4M on Friday. That’s better than the first ($8.6M) and third film ($8M), but below the second ($10.3M). The first film “Underworld” grossed $21.8M during opening weekend and the second flm “Underworld: Evolution” did $26.9M. Expect the latest entry in the series to take in somewhere in between for the weekend. Having Kate Beckingsale back in the starring role and the addition of 3D certainly helped keep the series alive.

George Lucas can breath a sign of relief with “Red Tails” taking in $6M on Friday, which is at upper end of predictions. At least it didn’t bomb. Early stats and most prognosticators have the film doing around $10M for the entire weekend, but on Friday it surprisingly top ticket sales numbers on Fandango. Although it didn’t end up beating “Underworld: Awakening,” its Friday haul means that it’ll finish the weekend with $15-$18M.

That’s not bad for Lucas, but it’ll still not reach profitability during its theatrical release because of its $58M budget. With a $15-$18M opening weekend, the film will probably end its run between $40-$50M. Generally, if a film can make as much at the domestic box office as the cost of the film, then it can turn a profit from ancilliary revenue streams like foreign box office and home video. It looks like “Red Tails” will still end up in the red, just not that much in the red.

“Haywire,” Steven Soderbergh’s martial art thriller starring MMA expert Gina Carano, took in as much as expected with a $2.9M gross on Friday. It’ll end the weekend with $8-$10M. What’s surprising is that the well-reviewed film scored a D+ grade from Cinemascore, while its two action rivals scored A’s.

Bad grades from Cinemascore tend to result in huge dropoffs in the following weekends, like “The Devil Inside.” That horror film received an F grade and had a 76% dropoff in box office earnings following its record-breaking opening weekend.

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