The domestic box office enjoyed another strong weekend as Screen Gems' Underworld: Awakening sunk its teeth in to the top spot with $25.4 million. Coming in second place was George Lucas’ Red Tails debut at $19.1 million, which was far better than expected.
After a strong first place start last weekend, Universal’s Contraband fell 50 percent to an estimated $12.2 million. With a $46.1 million total so far, the movie has passed Mark Wahlberg's Max Payne ($40.7 million) and is expected to eclipse Shooter ($47 million) by Tuesday.
Following a month in limited release, Warner Bros. September 11 drama Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close expanded to 2,630 locations, earning $10.5 million. The film, which received an A- CinemaScore, has been playing in only six theaters since Christmas Day, and has now grossed $11.2 million domestically.
Steven Soderbergh's Haywire debuted in fifth place with an estimated $9 million. As reported over the weekend, the movie received a terrible "D+" CinemaScore.
Beauty and the Beast 3D plummeted 52 percent to $8.56 million, comparing unfavorably to The Lion King 3D's 27 percent second weekend decline, and with $33.4 million in the bank so far Beauty has no chance of coming anywhere remotely close to Lion King's $94.2 million.
Among holdovers, Mission: Impossible--Ghost Protocol has now earned $534 million worldwide, while Warner Bros.' Sherlock Holmes--Game of Shadows has grossed $439.6 million. At the domestic box office, Ghost Protocol placed No. 8 for the weekend, followed by Game of Shadows and Sony's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Following its three Golden Globe wins last week and ahead of what's sure to be a ton of Academy Award nominations, The Artist expanded in to 662 locations this weekend, earning $2.37 million for a total of $12.1 million.
The Iron lady, also from the Weinstein Company, remained at No. 10 over the weekend, grossing $3.7 million from 1,076 locations for a total of $12.6 million.
Fox Searchlight's The Descendants grossed $2.5 million over the weekend from 560 locations for a domestic total of $51.3 million. Iranian film A Separation, from Sony Picture Classics, scored the top location average of the weekend, grossing $182,577 from 13 theaters for an average $14,044 and a total of $554,000.
Oscilloscope’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, starring Tilda Swinton, grossed $77,000 from seven theaters for an average $11,000 and a total of $188,000. The Weinstein Company's Coriolanus debuted at an estimated $60,000 from nine theaters for a location average of $6,667.
The Metropolitan Opera's The Met: Live in HD once again scored strong numbers on Saturday as the live transmission of The Enchanted Island grossed $1.8 million from 850 screens in North America. Overseas, the live transmission was seen by 77,000 moviegoers on 650 screens in 40 countries.
Box office numbers were obtained on boxofficemojo.com .