Kate Beckinsale’s career in the 2000s has been one of consistency. She does very well in Underworld movies, and looks fantastic when she stars in all of the other underachieving film roles she is given. Underworld opened to $21.8 million while Underworld: Evolution opened to $26.9 million. That’s an average opening of $24.4 million in roles where she plays a vampire. In an odd bit of symmetry, she also averages a $51.7 million opening when she players a vampire huntress. Okay, that only happened once with Van Helsing, and that movie is remembered as a bomb, but you get the point. When the garlic and holy water crowd is involved, Beckinsale is a go-to girl in terms of box office.
In everything else, she’s…well, let’s just talk numbers for a moment. Serendipity opened to $13.3 million on the way to $50.2 million in domestic box office. Vacancy opened to only $7.6 million on its way to final box office of roughly $18 million. Laurel Canyon and The Golden Bowl had combined box office of $6.7 million. Beckinsale has had projects that experienced tremendous success. Click, Pearl Harbor and The Aviator all made in excess of $100 million; however, she was not the draw in any of them. As we can see, North America has quietly voted to type cast Beckinsale into the realm of the undead, but this has not stopped the talented thespian from branching out into smaller projects such as the indie films mentioned above.
April 23rd promises to be another unusual prospect for Ms. Beckinsale. She has bragged that this project will finally allow her to put to use that Russian degree she got from Oxford University. The reason she will be able to do this is that this project focuses upon a Cold War espionage battle between a Russian spy working undercover in America and those trying to draw him out. This process is complicated by the fact that the man’s cover is so good that even his family does not know of his Russian heritage. Beckinsale has described the project as “serious drama”, and it’s been a while since we have seen a good spy thriller that did not involve someone named Bourne or Bond…well, anything with a B. Of course, Beckinsale starts with a B, but you get the point. (David Mumpower/BOP)