‘Resident Evil’ Top Weekend Film With $21.1 Million in Sales

“Resident Evil: Retribution,” the fifth installment in the zombie-invasion franchise, made its debut as the top film at U.S. and Canadian theaters with $21.1 million in sales for Sony Corp. (6758)

“Finding Nemo 3D,” a re-release of the 2003 animated hit, opened in second place, taking in $16.7 million for Walt Disney Co. (DIS), researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e- mailed statement.

“Resident Evil: Retribution” stars Milla Jovovich as Alice, a skilled warrior who battles zombies and the powerful corporation that created them. The first four films have generated $675.8 million in global ticket sales. This incarnation of the movie met a weekend estimate of $21 million from Boxoffice.com. The movie co-stars Michelle Rodriguez and was directed by Jovovich’s husband, Paul W.S. Anderson.

“It’s a point in the calendar when there’s not much happening,” in terms of big box-office generators, said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Industries. “Studios are gearing up for their holiday releases.”

“Finding Nemo 3D” is the fifth release in Disney’s plan to re-issue classic films in a three-dimensional format. In September of last year, a 3-D version of “The Lion King” opened in first place with $30.2 million and went on to generate $94.2 million in domestic sales. Other films converted to 3-D include two “Toy Story” movies and “Beauty and the Beast.”

‘The Possession’

“Finding Nemo 3D” was expected to have opening-weekend sales of $30 million and a total domestic take of $85 million, according to Boxoffice.com, an industry website.

“It did so well in the home entertainment market that maybe it’s a bit played out,” said Sweeney. “Disney will be disappointed, but these redos tend to do well internationally,” he added.

The horror film “The Possession” was third with sales of $5.8 million, according to Hollywood.com.

The movie, from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF), draws on Jewish folklore for the malevolent spirit that inhabits the body of a young girl. The son of a Hasidic rabbi takes on the task of freeing the child from the spirit, known as a dybbuk. The movie features Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick.

The Prohibition-era crime story “Lawless,” from Weinstein Co., was fourth with $4.3 million. Based on the true story of Depression-era moonshiners, the film features Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jessica Chastain. The story is taken from the book “The Wettest County in the World” and has pulled in $30.3 million since its debut.


Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables 2,” also from Lions Gate, had sales of $3.1 million to finish fifth in its fifth week of release. The picture, a follow-up to the 2010 hit, has taken in $80.4 million since Aug. 17.

Opening in limited release, “The Master,” director Paul Thomas Anderson’s tale of a troubled World War II veteran who is ensnared by a cult, took in $736,311 playing in five locations, producing the highest per-theater opening for a non-animated film, according to Hollywood.com.

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as a veteran struggling to adapt to peacetime life and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the charismatic leader of a spiritual movement. The movie, from Weinstein, has attracted attention because of comparisons between Hoffman’s character and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films fell 20 percent to $69 million from the year-earlier period, Hollywood.com said. Domestic film sales this year have risen 3 percent to $7.8 billion, with attendance up 1.8 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales from Sept. 14 through Sept. 16.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
 1 RESIDENT EVIL     $21.1    3,012   $6,989    --    $21.1    1
 2 FINDING NEMO (3-D) 16.7    2,904    5,746    --     16.7    1
 3 THE POSSESSION      5.8    2,860    2,016   -38     41.1    3
 4 LAWLESS             4.3    3,063    1,420   -28     30.3    3
 5 THE EXPENDABLES 2   3.1    2,896    1,086   -36     80.4    5
 6 PARANORMAN (3-D)    3.1    2,326    1,330   -26     49.4    5
 7 THE WORDS           2.9    2,801    1,022   -40      9.1    2
 8 THE BOURNE LEGACY   2.9    2,170    1,315   -28    107.8    6
 9 TIMOTHY GREEN       2.6    2,415    1,076   -29     46.4    5
10 THE CAMPAIGN        2.4    2,002    1,208   -28     82.9    6
11 DARK KNIGHT RISES   2.2    1,581    1,380   -32    441.1    9
12 ARBITRAGE           2.0      197   10,163    --      2.0    1

Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
     $69.0         $86.3       -20

Year-to-date Revenue

     2012          2011
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
    $7,804        $7,579      +3.0

Year-to-date Attendance:     +1.8%

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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