Underworld Wins Over Moviegoers

The ScreenGems/Lakeshore Ent. vampire vs. werewolf EFX fest Underworld took a sizeable bite out of the weekend box office, bringing in an estimated $22 million and grabbing the No. 1 spot. Digital wizardry by Framestore CFC, Fantasy II and Luma Pictures helped the creature feature break away from the pack and establish a tentpole for a franchise. It is rumored that a sequel is already in the works.

It’s been a good summer for horror as three genre offerings have now opened in the top spot. New Line’s Freddy Vs. Jason and United Artists’ Jeepers Creepers 2 both bowed big, the former raking in more the $80 million to date. Fox Searchlight’s 28 Days Later and Lionsgate’s Cabin Fever also performed exceptionally strong for low-budget productions. Some, however, missed the mark. Twentieth Century Fox’s supernatural mystery The Order and Buena Vista Pictures’ suspense chiller Cold Creek Manor both stumbled out of the gate. Manor, starring Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone, opened to an estimated $8.3 million this weekend, placing it at No. 5 behind Sony holdover Once Upon a Time in Mexico (No. 4) and newcomers Secondhand Lions (No. 3) from New Line and The Fighting Temptations (No. 2) from Paramount.