Sony's "Underworld: Awakening" should take a solid 3-D and IMAX enhanced bite out of the weekend box office with an opening domestic gross in the low-$20 million range.
Kate Beckinsale, whose sheer beauty gave co-presenter Seth Rogen some apparent difficulty at Sunday's Golden Globes, reprises her role as vampire warrior Selene in the fourth installment of the popular "Underworld" franchise.
Fox's World War II drama "Red Tails," starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Terence Howard and Bryan Cranston, dives into theaters on a collision course with a mid-teen debut. A personal labor of love by executive producer George Lucas, the film tells the true story of pilots in the all-black Tuskegee training program and their important contributions to the war effort.
Universal's "Contraband" opened with a bigger-than-expected $24.3 million debut last weekend and should smuggle about $14 million in its second go around.
The 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" from Warner Bros. will have its first nationwide release this weekend as it expands from six to around 2,500 theaters and a likely gross in the $10 million to $12 million range. The film stars Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and newcomer Thomas Horn as a young boy traumatized by the loss of his father in the World Trade Center attacks.
Disney's 1991 family favorite "Beauty and the Beast" was given a 3-D makeover and had a solid $17.7 million re-release debut last weekend. Following up on the success of its "Lion King" 3-D reprise last September, Disney has clearly found the love in rekindling its animated classics and should enjoy a low-teen romance on "Beauty's" second weekend.
Relativity Media's action-thriller "Haywire" kicks and punches its way into theaters this weekend, with an expected debut of under $10 million. The R-rated Steven Soderbergh film stars newcomer and former mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano, as well as Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas.
Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and provides box office analysis for The Associated Press.