While a female-lead action film debuted at number one at the box office this past weekend, it wasn’t Gina Carano’s major motion picture debut Haywire.
Earning just $9 million at the box office in its opening weekend, Haywire finished a disappointing fifth place, just over $16 million behind Underworld: Awakening, which opened in first place with a take of $25.4 million.
Haywire managed to do well with critics, earning an 82-percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a respectable 67 on Metacritic, but it scored an abysmal D+ rating by CinemaScore (where an average score is B+), foreshadowing the film’s poor performance at the box office.
With an estimated $23 million budget (not including advertising), the Stephen Soderbergh-directed film may have had the cards stacked against it before it hit theaters.
Factors such as reshoots nearly a year after being initially completed, as well as being given a January release date (which is considered typically a dumping ground for movies that studios have little faith in) were only compounded when it was discovered Carano’s voice had been digitally altered in post-production.
Coincidentally, Haywire’s difficulties upon release mirror that of the MMA-inspired Warrior and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/MMA-styled Redbelt. Both films received positive responses from critics, but struggled in their first weekends at the box office, ultimately failing to earn back their respective budgets.
After an aborted attempt to return to fighting last year, Carano’s star may be in need of a serious shot in the arm, which appears to have been made more difficult with the recent issues surrounding nemesis Cris “Cyborg” Santos, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the women’s 145-pound division.