Weekend Wrap-Up

Box Office Showing Signs of Grey

By John Hamann

January 29, 2012

Bold prediction: Liam Neeson dies first.

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Underworld: Awakening is second after finishing in top spot last weekend. Underworld fell quite hard this weekend, as after earning $25.3 million in the last frame, as the Kate Beckinsale pic took in only $12.5 million in its second weekend. That gives it a drop of 51%, better than Rise of the Lycans, which fell 64% in its second frame, as audiences learned that Beckinsale only had a cameo in that one. Underworld: Awakening also had a better drop than both the first and second movie in the series, as both of them lost 58% in their second weekends. Since Underworld: Awakening was shot in 3D, it had higher production costs at $70 million, so it will be interesting to see where it ends up overall. Give it $45.1 million domestically, and about $15 million overseas thus far.

Finishing third is One For the Money, starring the-much-hated-by-me Katherine Heigl. One For the Money got saved this weekend by the Interweb, as Lionsgate used Groupon to give audiences a cheaper way to see the film. Pretty much unknown before that (and shortly after), One For the Money turned what should have been a dismal opening into a weekend take of $11.8 million from 2,737 venues. Based on a book by Janet Evanovich, One For the Money is considered DOA by critics, with only one positive review at RottenTomatoes from some sleepy dude who called it a "guilty pleasure."

Speaking of ugly, Katherine Heigl's resume is just that. One For the Money only adds to a series of bad decisions the actress has made in her soon-to-be-over career. She appeared in the woeful New Year's Eve (7% fresh); starred alongside Ashton Kutcher (who can only get sloppy seconds from Charlie Sheen) in Killers (11% fresh) and received $12 million for her "effort"; stumbled her way through Life As We Know It (there's a title – its almost as bad as One For the Money) which was 28% fresh; and was in The Ugly Truth, which was 13% fresh. One For the Money cost Lionsgate and Lakeshore Entertainment $42 million, and I'm happy to say they will eat a lot of that.


Fourth is the George Lucas film, Red Tails, about the Tuskegee Airmen. Red Tails held better than Underworld: Awakening (no big surprise due to Underworld being Part 4), as it dropped from $18.8 million last weekend to $10.4 million this weekend. That's a drop of 45%, and is a number Mr. Lucas should be pleased with. Red Tails cost $58 million of Lucas-bucks, because the Star Wars creator couldn't get this one made unless he put up his own money. Red Tails has earned $33.8 million after ten days, and will likely finish somewhere between $50 and $60 million.

New release Man on a Ledge is a dismal fifth, as even a Living Social coupon (yep – twice in one weekend) couldn't pull this one up. The Sam Worthington flick earned $8.3 million this weekend from 2,998 venues. This is a ridiculous concept made worse by bad film-making. Man on a Ledge (it even sounds like One For the Money) was only 23% fresh at RottenTomatoes. If you've seen the trailer, you've seen the movie. The coupon doesn't make it any better. This one cost $42 million and will be lucky to earn $20 million at the box office.

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