Uh oh, it looks like bad news for the Underworld universe, as Underworld: Blood Wars has been slain by the competition in cinemas with a frankly frightful opening weekend. We here at Movie Pilot, we already tipped Blood Wars to be something of a marmite affair, even calling the death of #KateBeckinsale's career one of 2016's saddest on-screen deaths. However, it is now official that Blood Wars sucks. Perhaps we should have stuck a stake through the heart of Lycans vs. vamps after the fourth film.
Anna Foerster's directorial debut opened to a disappointing $13 million weekend, falling well below the franchise's previous low with Underworld: Rise of the Lycans's $20.8 million. Rise of the Lycans was criticized for its lack of Beckinsale, but it appears that even having Selene front and center can't save the aging saturation of vampires in cinema. I have personally always felt that Underworld was a pale comparison to #ResidentEvil, and Selene was a poor man's Alice, but for the past 14 years, those pesky vamps just keep coming. While they keep making more and more #Underworld films, let's be honest, what we really want is more #Blade!
The 'Evolution' Of Failure
With a projected $15-$19 million over the opening weekend, #ScreenGems will likely be disappointed in Blood Wars' taking, especially considering it is down 49% on the what Underworld: Awakening brought in during its first days. Blood Wars continues the saga of Selene and picks up directly after the events of Awakening as she has to fight of the werewolf Lycans and the #vampires who betrayed her. There is the usual high-tension stunts, hammy script, and the cliched "ultimate sacrifice," yada yada. Unfortunately it is a tale that we have seen 1,000 times before and lacks the "bite" that audiences are craving.
Beckinsale can take some solace though, Blood Wars' current rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a lacklustre 22%, but it is still faring better than 2006's Underworld: Evolution, which scores just 16%. This means that Blood Wars is only reviewed as the second worst entry, but that still won't help its box office figures. As expected, the original is usually the best, so 2003's Underworld is sitting pretty in both critical and financial states.
- Things You Might Not Know About The Original 'Underworld' Movie
- Fearing The Reaper: What Were The 15 Most Emotional On-Screen Deaths Of 2016? As Voted For By Movie Pilot!
- The Film Franchises Kate Beckinsale Should Join After 'Underworld'
Rising From The Crypt
So, what does this mean for the planned sixth film, and do we really need anymore Selene, or should she fly off into the night? Frankly, we seem a little bored with Underworld. The dizzying heights of Bill Nighy are forgotten in favor of Game of Thrones alumni. Sure, Blood Wars features Charles Dance, but it just feels like Screen Gems are going through the motions to get every drop of blood from their cash cow. Creator Len Wiseman's original plan was to reboot with the fifth film, but then Blood Wars came along as a fully fledged sequel. So, if there was any way to carry on the Underworld legacy, surely a reboot would be the way to do it? Another way to look at it is to follow suit from From Dusk Till Dawn. That franchise limped through to three films, but is doing wonders over on Netflix as its own TV series. Wiseman had also claimed that an Underworld TV series was in development, so it seems like the logical route to take.
In all honesty, the Underworld films may be pretty atrocious, but they have provided us with mild entertainment since 2003 and kept Beckinsale with a steady flow of PVC catsuits to retire on. In the meantime, she should shuffle off back to her crypt to continue the process of never looking like she has aged a day. Underworld may not be Interview with the Vampire, but it could always be worse, we could have had that rumored I, Frankenstein/Underworld crossover, which sounds about as appealing as Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Whether or not we really get a sixth Underworld, it doesn't look like the franchise is ready to bite the dust just yet!
Check out the trailer for Blood Wars, and don't forget our poll below!