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Resident Evil: Retribution easily claimed the box office crown this weekend, while Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master had a stunning debut at just five theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
Sony’s fifth film in the Resident Evil franchise debuted to $21.1 million. That was much lower than the $26.7 million debut 2010’s Afterlife had, notes Box Office Mojo. Retribution is the only film in the series that had a better opening than the first film, which made $17.7 million when it opened in 2002. However, Retribution, which was released in 3D, did sell fewer tickets.
Despite a lackluster start domestically, the film, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, was a huge hit overseas. The Wrap reports that the film grossed $50 million in 50 markets. In Japan alone, the film made $10.3 million, the best opening of the year for a Hollywood film there. In Russia, the film debuted to $8.5 million.
Disney and Pixar’s 3D re-release of Finding Nemo started off with $17.5 million. That’s not as good as The Lion King 3D’s $30.2 million opening, but is about the same as Beauty and the Beast 3D’s.
The Possession, which had topped the box office for the past two weekends, made just $5.8 million, a 38 percent drop from last weekend. Lawless ($4.2 million) and ParaNorman ($3 million) made up the rest of the Top 5.
The other headline from this weekend was The Master, which is coming off successful screenings in Venice and Toronto. The Weinstein Company released it only in New York and LA and made $145,949 per location, reports The Hollywood Reporter. That beat the previous record for a limited art house opening, which was set by Wes Anderson’s moonrise Kingdom in May. That film debuted to $130,759 per location.