The under world’s Vampires and Lycans fought off the over world’s Nazis, Mark Wahlberg, the Beast and Gina Carano, the “Face of Women’s MMA” in the fourth box office outing for the Underworld franchise.  The Swedish directing duo of Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein’s American feature debut bested television turned movie director Anthony Hemingway‘s feature debut, #2 Red Tails with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terence Howard, which flew in at $18.782 million.

Last week’s #1, #3 Contraband, was dealt a -50.6% blow with $12.039 million while the 3D version of #5 Beauty and the Beast did .1% better with $8.779 million.  The biggest hop, skip and jump of the weekend was the Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock’s 9/11 film, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel.  The Stephen Daldry film leaped from #36 to #4 in its wide release from only four to 2,630 theaters, grossing $10.045 million.  The third new release of the week, Steven Soderbergh’s ensemble action thriller Haywire, went haywire at #6 with $8.425 million.

Audiences clearly aren’t losing interest in vampires, werewolves or Selene as Underworld: Awakening premiered at #1, three years after the Kate Beckinsale-less prequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.  With both old (Beckinsale and producer Len Wiseman) and new blood (Mårlind and Stein, humans against Vampires and Lycans), the sequel sparked with $25.306 million at 3,078 theaters for the $70 million movie.  The fourth Underworld film’s opening gross was under 2006’s Evolution ($26.857 million) but over 2003’s Underworld ($21.753 million) and 2009’s Rise of the Lycans ($20.828 million).

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