Sony's action/horror Resident Evil: Retribution landed atop the box office this week, with not much competition apart from the 3D release of Finding Nemo, while Paul Thomas Anderson's cult drama The Master commanded a huge following and smashed records on just a handful of screens.
Resident Evil opened at #1, taking in an estimated $21.1 million in its debut. It stars Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez, and is the 5th installment of the film franchise. It is directed by Jovovich's husband, Paul W.S. Anderson, who has made three of the five films. She is once again as the warrior Alice, the last hope for the human race as an evil corporation unleashes a deadly virus that creates more flesh-eating undead on a worldwide scale.
The re-release of Disney's Finding Nemo in 3D opened at #2, taking in $17.5 million to start. The 2003 underwater comedy is about a tiny, lost fish named Nemo. It features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres and Willem Dafoe.
Last weekend's top film, the Lionsgate exorcism thriller The Possession, fell to third place with an estimated $5.8 million, bringing about $41.2 million over the past three weeks.
Shia LaBeouf's bootlegging tale, Lawless, comes in at #4 this weekend with $4.2 million; and ParaNorman closes out the top 5 with just over $3 million.
As mentioned, The Weinstein Co. release, The Master, broke records. It made $729,745 in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a record-setting per-screen average of $145,949, according to Sunday studio estimates. The anticipated film, which just won several of the top awards at the Venice Film Festival and will open in more cities in upcoming weeks, stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a charismatic cult leader and Joaquin Phoenix as his wayward protege.
Among the other new movies this weekend, "Arbitrage" opened in 12th place in limited release with nearly $2.1 million. Richard Gere stars as a hedge-fund billionaire juggling scandals that could destroy him personally and professionally.
That's a wrap for this weekend. This upcoming week, look out for the release of the Lionsgate action Dredd, Jake Gyllenhaal's LAPD drama End Of Watch, the horror-thriller House at the End of The Street, and Clint Eastwood's drama Trouble With The Curve.
This weekend's top 10 is as follows:
1. "Resident Evil: Retribution," $21.1 million.
2. "Finding Nemo," $17.5 million.
3. "The Possession," $5.8 million.
4. "Lawless," $4.2 million.
5. "ParaNorman," $3 million.
6. "The Expendables 2," $3 million.
7. "The Words," $2.88 million.
8. "The Bourne Legacy," $2.875 million.
9. "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," $2.5 million.
10. "The Campaign," $2.4 million.