Unlike last year, 2012 has so far been very good to the domestic box office ... and to Red Tails. The World War II drama about the Tuskegee Airmen, produced by George Lucas and starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, surprised everyone by pulling in $19.1 million in its opening weekend.
Lucas spent 20 years pursuing the project, and recently revealed he couldn't get any studio to finance the film because of its all-Black cast. He finally decided to put up the money himself, and spent close to $100 million of his own change to make and distribute the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Though it did far better than analysts — and cynics — expected, it didn't quite pull off a box office coup, coming in second place and a few million shy of the number one spot. That honor, unsurprisingly, went to Kate Beckinsale and her spandex bodysuit in Underworld.
Mark Wahlberg's Contraband copped the number three spot, and Stephen Daldry's Oscar-buzzy Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, starring Tom Hanks and Viola Davis, came in fourth.
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(Photo: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)