Weekend Box-Office: January 20-22, 2012

Underworld: Awakening kills the competition!

Kate Beckinsale was back in body-hugging leather this weekend, and she was packing enough ammo to slaughter all comers as UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING opened at the top of the box office. The fourth in the vampires-vs.-werewolves franchise returned Selene to the screen (in 3D) and took in $25.4 million, proving there's still plenty of life in the undead.

As with the bloodsucker battle in the #1 spot, critics also weren't kind to the George Lucas-produced RED TAILS, but the WWII action movie still performed better than expected with a $19.1 million opening. The tale of the Tuskegee Airmen also scored high marks from the paying crowds, so maybe George won't seem quite so bitter in his next interview.

Despite some lousy weather in parts of the country, Mark Wahlberg's busy trigger finger kept audiences coming -- CONTRABAND held in third with another $12.2M (just shy of a 50% drop). More than enough to defeat director Steven Soderbergh's new tough-girl flick HAYWIRE, which finally made its way to theaters but only kicked its way to fifth place with $9M.

Gina Carano's man-mangling debut landed behind the expanding 9/11 drama EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE in fourth with $10.5M. Not a huge figure considering the talent involved, but the impending Oscar nomination announcements should indicate how well the Tom Hanks/Sandra Bullock movie will fare in the next few weeks. Although all that awards buzz didn't do much for the 450 screen expansion of THE ARTIST, which was still way outside the Top 10 with $2.3M, behind Golden Globes winner THE DESCENDANTS with $2.4M on fewer screens.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 3D and JOYFUL NOISE kept going with steady business, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED and WAR HORSE said goodbye, and as they start their slide off the chart, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL nears the $200M mark and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO approaches $100M.

Next weekend brings the Katherine Heigl action-comedy ONE FOR THE MONEY, the Sam Worthington heist thriller MAN ON A LEDGE, and the Liam Neeson survival story THE GREY. What's your favorite Liam Neeson role? VOTE HERE!

1. Underworld: Awakening $25.4 M
2. Red Tails $19.1 M
3. Contraband $12.2 M $46.1 M
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close $10.5 M $11.2 M
5. Haywire $9 M
6. Beauty and the Beast 3D $8.5 M $33.3 M
7. Joyful Noise $6 M $21.9 M
8. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol $5.5 M $197.3 M
9. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $4.8 M $178.6 M
10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $3.7 M $94.7 M


Source: Box Office Mojo



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