Beckinsale helps lift Underworld
Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012
KATE Beckinsale returned to the Underworld series as vampire warrior Selene and helped propel the fourth film in the franchise to a first-place debut in North American theatres last weekend.
The Underworld instalment topped box-office charts and brought in an estimated US$38.8 million (S$49 million) around the world.
The fourth film, Underworld: Awakening, stars Beckinsale as a vampire leading the charge in a battle against humans trying to drive her species and werewolves to extinction.
It opened stronger than two of the three earlier films in the franchise, which opened in 2003.
Awakening pulled in US$25.4 million at North American (United States and Canadian) theatres from last Friday to Sunday, plus US$13.4 million from 36 international markets, distributor Sony said on Sunday.
Playing at 3,078 domestic locations, the film's weekend sales finished "at the high end of where we hoped", said Mr Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures.
Audiences were eager to see Beckinsale return to the lead role, he said. She had starred in the first two films but skipped the third.
Awakening is the first Underworld movie in 3-D and cost about US$70 million to produce.
The movie fell flat with critics, as just 24 per cent gave it a positive review on aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. But audiences polled by survey firm CinemaScore awarded the movie an A minus.
The movie opens in Singapore next month.
Despite the success of the fourth movie, Beckinsale was unsure whether there would be a follow-up. She told Buzzinefilm.com: "I didn't know there was going to be a fourth one... I said we were done after three, so I don't know. Let's see if anyone likes this one."