Jan 23, 2012

Kate Beckinsale's 'Underworld: Awakenings' triumphed in a surprisingly close fight at this weekend's domestic box office against the World War II aerial epic 'Red Tails'.

'Underworld' finished at the top spot with 25.4 million dollars in a closer-than-expected win over George Lucas' self-funded story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the real-life American fighter pilots who battled both the Nazis and racism on the home front.

A snow storm that rocked much of the Midwest and North East couldn't keep moviegoers away from the fourth movie in Sony Screen Gems' vampire versus werewolf versus humans franchise that critics had left dead and buried after the last installment.

"We had so many things going for us, and the biggest thing was Kate Beckinsale, her being back in the role as Selene where she belonged ... and she just rocked it," the New York Daily news quoted Rory Bruer, Sony President of Worldwide Distribution as saying.

According to Sony, the film's haul was boosted by 3D tickets, which accounted for almost 59 percent of the opening weekend gross.

Last week's number one 'Contraband' finished in third with 12.2 million dollars and the Sept. 11 drama 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' finished fourth, earning 10.5 million dollars in its first week in wide release, Hollywood.com reported.

Steven Soderbergh's 'Haywire', the other major new release of the weekend, rounded off the top five with a disappointing 8.5 million dollars, despite the heavy buzz surrounding Carano's action-packed breakthrough performance.
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