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Weekend Wrap-Up: Underworld Rises to the Top

January 23rd, 2012

2012 has gone three for three in the year-over-year comparison. This weekend we have a couple films do a little better than expected and a couple films struggle a little bit, but the overall box office was up 1% from last weekend to $134 million. More importantly, the box office was up 30% from last year. Not only did we have better strength on top with Underworld: Awakening earning $25 million, but we also had much stronger depth. This bodes well going into next week and hopefully January will complete the sweep when compared to last year. Year-to-Date, 2012 now has a 15% lead over 2011 at $748 million to $653 million. It is still far too early to declare victory, but every dollar earned now puts us one dollar closer to matching last year's total.

Underworld: Awakening opened in first place with $25.31 million, which is the second best opening in the franchise, just falling behind Evolution. Amazingly, at 32% positive, the reviews are the best in the franchise, although it is incredibly close. Maybe it will have strong enough legs to become the biggest hit in the franchise. It should certainly improve upon the averages so far.

Red Tails opened better than expected with $18.78 million giving it a solid second place. More impressively, it earned an internal multiplier of 3.14 while its Friday to Saturday growth of 44% was stunning. On the other hand, its reviews were not. Perhaps this is a case of moviegoers simply disagreeing with critics. We will know more next weekend.

Contraband matched expectations nearly perfectly with $12.04 million over the weekend for a total of $45.94 million after two. It is already a financial hit and the only question now is how much profit it will make. If it can connect with international audiences as well as it did with domestic audiences, then it will be a boon for the studio.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a little weaker than expected during its first weekend of wide release earning fourth place with $10.05 million giving it a total of $10.74 million, including its limited release run. Its per theater average was under $4000, which suggests it doesn't have a lot of room to grow, so anything more than a minor hit is likely out of the question. And it will only become that if its production budget isn't too high.

Beauty and the Beast 3D fell faster than it should have given its target audience / reviews, which suggests these 3D re-releases are drawing in Fanboys more than families. That said, with $8.78 million over the weekend and $33.59 million after two, I think it will be seen as a financial success.

Haywire just missed the top five, but it did earn sixth place with $8.43 million over the weekend. Its per theater average is low enough that I don't think a lot of theater owners will be willing to keep it around for a long time, which is a shame since its reviews suggest strong word of mouth. Maybe it will find a more receptive audience on the home market.

Looking in on the sophomore class, Joyful Noise fell 47% to $5.92 million over the past three days, while its running tally rose to $21.75 million after ten. It is closing in on its production budget, so as long as it is a hit on the home market, it will eventually earn a profit.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Beauty and the Beast, Red Tails, Underworld: Awakening, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Joyful Noise, Contraband, Haywire