There could be a pretty intense battle at the box office this weekend. We’re getting three new wide releases, all of which are action films, and that’s just a week after Contraband debuted rather strongly nonetheless. Underworld Awakening is due out in the most theaters and should also benefit from being part of a longstanding franchise. Underworld: Evolution and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans both bowed this very same weekend in January and posted $26.9 million and $20.8 million respectively. Strong starts, but neither faced in-genre competition like Awakening is going up against. Awakening could wind up posting the franchise’s lowest opening weekend of about $18 million.
Red Tails looks to follow right behind, but come nowhere close to earning the same amount producer George Lucas is used to. In fact, he’ll likely follow up his $100 million opening for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with just $15 million for Red Tails. Lastly for the new releases, Haywire could wind up just below last January’s The Mechanic and take about $9 million its first weekend out, letting Contraband remain in the top tier and snag the third position on the top ten. Should Contraband take a bigger week two hit than The Town, but less than Takers, it’ll drop 40% and take another $14 million to the bank.
There’s also no forgetting Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close because it’s getting another 2,624 theaters and that’ll undoubtedly help it into the top five this weekend. The film didn’t have the most impressive limited run, but should it earn about $4,000 per theater now, it’ll still gain $10 million this weekend, pulling right ahead of Haywire.
The Lion King 3D fell a mere 27.3% from week one to two and even though Beauty and the Beast 3D didn’t have the good fortune of opening with as much money, it should only lose about 30% of its week one profits. Cut that out of its $17.8 million start and it’s still left with about $12 million. Joyful Noise should hold on rather strong thanks to the lack of competition in its general vicinity, perhaps only dropping about 30% and taking in another $7.5 million.
As for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, it could suffer through a rather devastating week thanks to the action competition and lose half of its week five profits. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadow could be heading straight for those same troubled waters, demoting both films to the 8th and 9th positions with $5.5 million and $4 million respectively. And, lastly, after a whopping 76.2% week one to two tumble, there’s no reason to think The Devil Inside will be able to hold on strong enough in week three to stay on top of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Should the former drop 60% and the latter just 40%, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will just beat The Devil Inside’s $3.5 million with just under $4 million.
1. Underworld: Awakening
2. Red Tails
4. Beauty and the Beast 3D
5. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
7. Joyful Noise
8. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
9. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo