Similar to Screen Gems’ other major franchise, Resident Evil, the Underworld movies were always far more successful internationally than there were in the United States. While none of the films thus far have managed to break $65 million here in the States, the box office numbers balloon to triple digits when the foreign markets are accounted for.
The studio has been profiting off of this pattern going back to the first movie’s release back in 2003, but apparently they are no longer happy with the progress – which is why they are now hitting the reset button. After only little more than a decade in existence, the Underworld franchise is getting a reboot.
At this point in time there doesn’t seem to be any information available regarding the presence of Kate Beckinsale – who has starred in three of the four Underworld movies – or her writer/director/producer husband Len Wiseman.
What’s odd about this move is that the most recent chapter of the Underworld saga – “Underworld Awakening” – was actually the biggest hit the franchise has seen so far. Released in 2012, the 3D film made $2164 more than 2006’s “Underworld: Evolution” at the domestic box office, and was far and away the biggest earner when worldwide numbers were calculated.
The blockbuster wasn’t exactly expensive either, made for a reported budget of just $70 million. Compared to the relative success of the other movies, the only under-performing title in the series thus far has been “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans,” which is kind of an outlier anyway being the only film not to star Kate Beckinsale.
Cory Goodman is still kind of a newbie in the industry, but his track record thus far doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. His only feature credit currently is the 2011 Paul Bettany action movie “Priest,” which was not only ripped to shreds by critics, but also only managed to make $78 million globally on a $60 million budget.
His next script, “The Last Witch Hunter,” is currently in active development with Vin Diesel attached to star and Breck Eisner on board to helm. Summit Entertainment holds the U.S. distribution rights to the movie, but they have not yet announced a release date.