– by Joseph Jammer Medina

After a long hiatus from Hollywood films, actress Kate Beckinsale is definitely back.

Screen Gems’ “Underworld: Awakening” took the top spot in the weekend box office with $25.4 million. It is back-to-back box office weekend wins for Beckinsale. For last weekend, “Contraband” was the top earning film in which she starred alongside with Mark Wahlberg.

For the “Underworld” franchise, the fourth film fared better than 2009’s “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” which opened with $20.8 million and starred without Beckinsale. The last “Underworld” film with Beckinsale was 2006’s “Underworld: Evolution,” that opened with $26.9 million.

In this film, Beckinsale’s Selene wakes up in a future to discover that humans are at war to eliminate both the vampire and lycan clans. It also starred Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley and Sandrine Holt.

The 3D format of “Underworld: Awakening” represented about 59 percent of the ticket sales and IMAX (including 3D figures) accounted for 15 percent of the ticket sales.

Twentieth Century Fox’s “Red Tails” opened in second place with $19.1 million. According to Box Office Mojo, it was Fox’s best non-franchise opening since last April’s “Rio.”

“Red Tails” is another movie about the famed Tuskegee airmen during World War II. The film starred Terrence Howard, Nate Parker, Tristan Wilds, Elijah Kelly, Leslie Odom Jr. and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Relativity Media’s “Haywire” opened in fifth place by earning $9 million at the box office. The Steven Soderbergh-directed film is about a female agent seeking revenge against  her agency after a mission betrayal.

The film starred MMA star Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas.

In fourth place, Warner Brothers Pictures’ “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” expanded to 2,630 locations after a month of limited release. It earned $10.5 million, which analysts considered it as disappointing numbers for this September 11 drama. The film starred Tom Hanks, Thomas Horn and Sandra Bullock.

Last weekend’s top movie “Contraband” fell to third place by earning $12.24 million, a drop of 50 percent from the previous weekend.

For next weekend, the films “The Grey,” “One for the Money” and “Man on a Ledge” will make their debut.

Here is the WEEKEND BOX OFFICE numbers for January 20-22, 2012:

1. Underworld: Awakening $25.4 million
2. Red Tails $19.1 million
3. Contraband $12.24 million
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close $10.55 million
5. Haywire $9 million
6. Beauty and the Beast 3D $8.56 million
7. Joyful Noise $6.075 million
8. Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol $5.54 million
9. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $4.805 million
10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $3.75 million

Source: BoxOffice.com, Box Office Mojo