Monday, September 17, 2012

'Resident Evil' Tops Weekend Films With $21.1 Million in Sales - Businessweek

“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 $17.5 million for Walt Disney Co. (DIS), researcher Box-Office said yesterday 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 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, 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

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 $4.2 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 $30.1 million since its debut.

‘The Master’

“ParaNorman,” a 3-D animated children’s film from Laika Entertainment and Universal’s Focus Features, was fifth with revenue of $3 million. The PG-rated comedy-thriller follows a misunderstood boy who can speak to the dead. Kodi Smit-McPhee provides the voice of Norman. Anna Kendrick and Christopher Mintz-Plasse co-star.

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 $729,745 playing in five locations, the highest per-theater opening for a non-animated film, according to

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 19 percent to $69.6 million from the year-earlier period, said. Domestic film sales this year have risen 3 percent to $7.8 billion, with attendance up 2 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales from Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 and estimates for yesterday.

                         Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total  Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks  ===============================================================  1 RESIDENT EVIL        $21.1   3,012   $7,005   --    $21.1   1  2 FINDING NEMO (3-D)    17.5   2,904    6,028   --     17.5   1  3 THE POSSESSION         5.8   2,860    2,028   -38    41.2   3  4 LAWLESS                4.2   3,063    1,377   -30    30.1   3  5 PARANORMAN             3.04  2,326    1,307   -28    49.3   5  6 THE EXPENDABLES 2      3.03  2,896    1,046   -39    80.3   5  7 THE WORDS              2.88  2,801    1,028   -39     9.2   2  8 THE BOURNE LEGACY      2.87  2,170    1,325   -28   107.8   6  9 ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY    2.5   2,415    1,040   -31    46.3   5  10 THE CAMPAIGN          2.4   2,002    1,201   -29    82.9   6  11 THE DARK KNIGHT RISES 2.14  1,581    1,354   -34   441.0   9  12 ARBITRAGE             2.07    197   10,506   --      2.0   1    Top 12 Films Grosses:       This Week     Year Ago      Pct.       (mln)         (mln)       Chg.  ===================================       $69.6         $86.3       -19%      Year-to-date Revenue:         2012          2011        YTD           YTD        Pct.       (mln)         (mln)       Chg.  ===================================      $7,803.9      $7,578.9      +3%    Year-to-date Attendance:         +2%  

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at

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