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‘Resident Evil’ Is No. 1 Movie With $26.7 Million

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” the fourth film in the science-fiction series, was the top-grossing movie in the U.S. and Canada this past weekend, generating $26.7 million in ticket sales for Sony Corp.

“Takers,” which is also from Sony, finished second, moving up the rankings from its third-place finish last week, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

“Resident Evil,” the weekend’s only wide release, stars Milla Jovovich as a warrior who tries to shepherd a band of humans to safety in a world overrun by zombies. The first three movies averaged $47.3 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada and $126.5 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. This weekend had the lowest ticket sales this year, Hollywood.com Box-Office said.

“Sony took tremendous advantage of what is typically one of the slowest weekends of the year,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box-Office, in a telephone interview. “Sony found that sweet spot” and “worked it.”

It was the fifth time this year, Sony topped the weekend charts, according to Hollywood.com Box-Office. The company’s $922.3 million in 2010 sales through Sept. 9 place it fifth among the major Hollywood studios, according to Box Office Mojo’s website.

‘The American’

The “Resident Evil” films are based on the video game from Osaka, Japan-based Capcom Co. The film was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who also directed the original “Resident Evil,” released in 2002.

“Takers,” which finished second, had receipts of $5.67 million. The film features singer Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen, who are part of a group of bank robbers being chased by a veteran detective played by Matt Dillon.

George Clooney’s spy drama “The American” dropped to third from first place with $5.67 million, trailing “Takers” by about $100,000. In the Focus Features film, Clooney plays an assassin who is hiding out in Italy between assignments. His circumstances become more perilous after he is asked to build a weapon for another hit.

Fox’s “Machete” fell to fourth from second with $4.29 million. In the movie, Danny Trejo plays a former Mexican police officer who seeks revenge against a group that betrayed him. The Robert Rodriguez action film co-stars Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro and Don Johnson.

‘Going the Distance’

“Going the Distance” was fifth again this week with $3.79 million. In the romantic comedy by Warner Bros., Drew Barrymore and Justin Long play a pair of 30-somethings trying to sustain a bicoastal relationship.

Weekend sales for the top 12 films fell 14 percent to $65.8 million from $76.2 million a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Year-to-date receipts total $7.81 billion, up 3.9 percent from $7.51 billion. Attendance has fallen 1.6 percent this year.

The following table has figures provided by studios to Los Angeles-based Hollywood.com Box-Office. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for Sept. 10-12.

                     Rev.             Avg./    Pct.    Total
Movie               (mln) Theaters  Theater    Chg.    (mln) Wks
================================================================
1 RESIDENT EVIL      26.7    3,203    8,320     --     26.7    1
2 TAKERS              5.7    2,191    2,590    -48     47.7    3
3 THE AMERICAN        5.7    2,833    2,003    -57     28.1    2
4 MACHETE             4.3    2,678    1,603    -62     20.9    2
5 GOING THE DISTANCE  3.8    3,030    1,250    -45     14.0    2
6 THE OTHER GUYS      3.3    2,246    1,491    -37    112.4    6
7 THE LAST EXORCISM   3.3    2,731    1,217    -55     38.1    3
8 THE EXPENDABLES     3.2    3,058    1,054    -51     98.5    5
9 EAT PRAY LOVE       2.9    2,339    1,252    -39     74.7    5
10 INCEPTION          2.8    1,583    1,770    -50    282.2    9
11 NANNY MCPHEE       2.1    2,364      880    -41     26.3    4
12 THE SWITCH         2.0    1,595    1,255    -36     25.0    4


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $65.8         $76.2     -13.7


Year-to-date Revenue

     2010          2009
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $7,809        $7,512      +3.9

Year-to-date Attendance:     -1.6%



To contact the reporters on this story:
Michael White in Los Angeles at 
mwhite8@bloomberg.net;
John Detrixhe in New York at 
jdetrixhe1@bloomberg.net

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



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