It was a great weekend to be a director named Paul Anderson.
Not only did Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: Retribution become his fourth straight Resident Evil film to debut atop the chart; Paul Thomas Anderson’s drama The Master had one of the best opening weekends of all time in limited release.
In first place, Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth entry in the stalwart horror/action franchise, earned $21.1 million — 21 percent less than 2010′s Resident Evil: Afterlife, which began with $26.7 million. This is the first time that a Resident Evil movie has earned less than its predecessor. The original Resident Evil earned $17.7 million in 2002. Resident Evil: Apocalypse grossed $23.0 million in 2004. Resident Evil: Extinction scored $23.7 million in 2007. Notably, Retribution, which is being distributed in 3-D and IMAX, also sold the fewest tickets of any of the Resident Evil films in its opening weekend.
Sony, who is distributing the $65 million Milla Jovovich (Paul W.S. Anderson’s wife) vehicle under its Screen Gems division, isn’t worried, though. The Resident Evil franchise’s international prospects have grown substantially over the last decade, and with a $50 million international start this weekend, Retribution has a good shot at finishing ahead of Afterlife‘s $296 million worldwide cume. Audiences issued the film a “C+” CinemaScore grade. READ FULL STORY