"Underworld: Awakening" tops the North American box office on its debut weekend. Benefiting from its 3D release, the fourth installment of the vampire vs. lycans war film franchise successfully rakes in an estimated $25.4 million in its first week. The result is bigger than two of the three previous "Underworld" movies.
Of the satisfying performance of "Underworld 4", Sony Pictures president of worldwide distribution Rory Bruer says, "Kate [Beckinsale] in the of Selene is just a force to be reckoned with. This film may be the best received of the franchise." Receiving an "A-" CinemaScore, the Kate Beckinsale-starring thriller appeals to 55% male moviegoers, while around 60% of them are over the age of 25.
Landing on the runner-up spot this week is George Lucas-produced "Red Tails". The movie, which is based on true story about Tuskegee training program during the World War II, grosses around $19.1 million with the top grossing theaters are in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta.
"The weekend was up 31% and the primary reason is this original true tale of heroism and valor. It's a true American history," says the 20th Century Fox executive president of domestic distribution, Chris Aronson. The movie, which had its special screening at the White House recently, appeals to 51% male audience with 66% of those buying the tickets are over the age of 25.
Last week's chart-topper, "Contraband" drops on the third place this weekend. Falling 50% from last week, the Mark Wahlberg-starring action film collects approximately $12.2 million. It grosses a total domestic cume of $46.1 million after ten days playing in the U.S. theaters.
Another newcomer this week, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" opens on number four after being expanded to nationwide release. The post-9/11 drama starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock bags an estimated $10.5 million from 2,630 theaters.
The well reviewed drama, which receives an "A-" CinemaScore, has been playing in limited cinemas since Christmas days and has been collecting a total cume of $11.2 million. "We're intentionally moving very slowly," explains Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. Pictures executive vice president of distribution.
Rounding up the top five is Steven Soderbergh-directed female centric action film, "Haywire". The film, which cost $23 million to produce, grosses around $9 million in its debut weekend. Receiving a dismal "D+" CinemaScore, the film appealed to 55% male moviegoers from the ethnically diverse background.
Top Ten Movies at Box Office for January 20 - 22, 2012: