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Weekend Estimates: Underworld Awakens Box Office

January 22nd, 2012

A solid $25.4 million projected opening for Underworld: Awakening this weekend, backed by a better-than-expected $19.1 million for Red Tails will help give the industry a healthy start to 2012. Based on studio estimates released on Sunday, business this weekend should be up about 30% from the same weekend last year, and 2012 is currently running about 11% ahead of 2011. Obviously there's a long way to go, but early momentum is always useful.

Underworld: Awakening's opening will most likely fall just short of the first weekend $26.9 million enjoyed by Underworld: Evolution, but it will be up more than 20% over Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans, thanks in large part to $3.8 million in IMAX takings, which IMAX cite as a record 15% of total weekend ticket sales.

Less impressive weekend numbers will be posted by Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is headed for a $10.5 million weekend at an average of $4,000 per theater, and Haywire, with $9 million in 2,439 theaters. The former will most likely have the consolation of a relatively long run in theaters, the latter will benefit from Relativity's aggressive international pre-sales strategy, so neither will result will likely turn out to be financially ruinous.

In the lower reaches of the chart, The Descendants and The Artist both benefited from recent awards and will each take in about $2.4 million this weekend (that's almost double last weekend's haul in the case of The Artist, which expanded from 216 to 662 theaters). Also posting good numbers is A Separation which looks like the favorite for Best Foreign Language Oscar and will earn about $180,000 this weekend from 13 theaters.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Red Tails, Underworld: Awakening, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Haywire, Jodaeiye Nader az Simin, The Artist