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'Resident Evil: Retribution' Franchise's Worst Ever & 'The Master' Scores

Milla Jovovich Resident Evil: RetributionMilla Jovovich Resident Evil: Retribution, Pixar's Finding Nemo 3D underperform at the domestic box office

Sept. 16, '12, update: Starring Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil: Retribution topped the North American box office this weekend (Sept. 14-16), taking in $21.1 million (including $665,000 from Thursday midnight screenings) at 3,012 locations according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. That's about $2 million less than early Friday estimates indicated (see further below), and $5-6 million less than box office pundits had been expecting. (Image: Milla Jovovich Resident Evil: Retribution.)

Resident Evil: Retribution's domestic box office gross was also by far the weakest among all Resident Evil movies. Oh, but the original Resident Evil made only $17.7 million when it came out. Well, yes, but that was a decade ago. Adjusted for ticket-price increases, the first Resident Evil flick earned about $24.5 million in 2012 dollars. It's ludicrous to compare box office grosses of movies made years apart without taking inflation into consideration. And never mind the fact that unlike Resident Evil: Retribution, the original Resident Evil didn't have the benefit of 3D surcharges.

Besides gun-toting star Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil: Retribution also features Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Li Bingbing, Johann Urb, Shawn Roberts, Oded Fehr, Kevin Durand, Colin Salmon, Mika Nakashima, and Aryana Engineer. Paul W.S. Anderson directed. The production budget of the latest Resident Evil sequel has been pegged at $65 million.

Finding Nemo 3D disappoints

Another 3D release that underperformed was Disney / Pixar's Finding Nemo 3D, which raked in an estimated $17.5 million at 2,904 venues. On Friday, it was expected that Finding Nemo could have reached as high as $25m+ while early predictions had the animated movie grossing well north of $20 million.

To date, Finding Nemo has grossed $357.21 million at the domestic box office. Overseas, the 3D rerelease added $5 million – the studio's reported expense on the 3D conversion. That amount, of course, doesn't include marketing / distribution costs.

Directed by Andrew Stanton (now of John Carter infamy) and Toy Story 3's Lee Unkrich, Finding Nemo features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Barry Humphries, Allison Janney, Eric Bana, Elizabeth Perkins, and Geoffrey Rush.

Domestic box office malaise continues

If studio estimates are accurate, they're great when compared to last weekend's dismal openings: Bradley Cooper / Zoe Saldana's The Words with $4.75 million and Henry Cavill / Bruce Willis' The Cool Light of Day with $1.83 million. But they're highly disappointing when compared to Resident Evil: Afterlife, which debuted with $26.65 million in September 2010, or Beauty and the Beast 3D, which was had its 3D debut last January, collecting $17.75 million at 2,625 locations – or about 300 fewer sites than Finding Nemo 3D.

Beauty and the Beast 3D went on to gross a modest $47.61 million in North America and a highly disappointing $14.41 million overseas. Reportedly budgeted at $60m, Resident Evil: Afterlife brought in a weak $60.12 million domestically but a sensational $236.09 million overseas, where 3D action / disaster movies have been all the rage since James Cameron's Avatar. Resident Evil: Retribution was, in fact, made with international audiences in mind.

Much like their North American counterparts (five of the top ten movies on the 2012 domestic box office chart are movie sequels or reboots), international moviegoers crave high-quality, original entertainment. Such as Resident Evil: Retribution, which grossed a whopping $50 million on its first weekend in 50 markets.

Milla Jovovich Resident Evil: Retribution photo: Rafy / Screen Gems / Sony Pictures.

Sept. 15 p.m.

Joaquin Phoenix The Master Madisen Beaty'The Master.'

The Master to break live-action weekend box office record?

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, the “Scientology movie” inspired by the life of L. Ron Hubbard, and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, opened with an estimated $242,000 at five theaters (three in New York, two in Los Angeles) according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. (The Hollywood Reporter provides a more exact figure, $242,127, which certainly seems like the film's actual Friday box office take.) That's reportedly a record-breaking single-day figure for a live-action movie in “platform release” – in terms of per-theater average: $48,425. (More on that below. Photo: The Master Joaquin Phoenix, Madisen Beaty.)

Thanks to its excellent Friday opening, the Weinstein Company-distributed The Master is also expected to break the per-theater average opening-weekend box office record of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, which debuted last spring. At four theaters, Anderson's acclaimed Cannes Film Festival entry averaged $43,082 per site on Friday and $130,749 on its first weekend out. The Master could reach up to $140-150k.

So, will The Master boast the most successful domestic opening weekend ever for a live-action film (in terms of per-theater averages)? Well, if you ignore Kevin Smith's Red State, which took in $204,230 at one location last year and if you live on a planet where inflation doesn't exist, the answer is: Quite likely, yes. But as long as you live on Planet Earth, where inflation is a reality, even if you choose to ignore Red State's “one-theater average” the answer is: Probably not.

Box office: The Master vs. Dreamgirls, Evita, Edward Scissorhands

Adjusted to 2012 dollars, the per-theater average of Bill Condon's 2006 musical Dreamgirls would be approximately $155,000 at three sites. (Note: Dreamgirls had the advantage of $25 tickets for reserved seats.) For its part, Alan Parker / Madonna's Evita raked in an adjusted $177,000 in 1996 at two locations. Also potentially ahead of The Master would be Tim Burton / Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands, with $151,000 at two sites.

Now, bear in mind that we're comparing apples and pineapples here. As I've explained in a post about Moonrise Kingdom's box office performance, when comparing platform releases, the addition or exclusion of one single theater not only can but does dramatically affect per-theater averages. When you're talking about four theaters, if you add a fifth, that represents a 25 percent increase in venues. Minus one would be a 25 percent decrease. Remember: all things being equal, the fewer the number of theaters, the higher the per-theater average should be.

The Master photo, Joaquin Phoenix, Madisen Beaty (not Amy Adams, as previously stated): The Weinstein Company.

Sept. 15 early a.m.

Milla Jovovich Resident Evil: RetributionResident Evil: Retribution, Finding Nemo top modest end-of-summer weekend

Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil: Retribution, starring Milla Jovovich, is expected to top the North American box office on Friday, grossing somewhere around $9 million (including $665,000 from Thursday midnight screenings) at 3,012 locations according to early, rough estimates found at Deadline.com. Resident Evil: Retribution's weekend gross is expected to hover around $23 million. (Image: Milla Jovovich Resident Evil: Retribution.)

The Disney / Pixar rerelease Finding Nemo, now in 3D (which means a surcharge), took in an estimated $5.3 million (down from an earlier $6 million estimate) at 2,904 locations on Friday. Initially, it was expected that with $25 million by Sunday evening Finding Nemo would top the North American weekend box office chart. Deadline, however, has lowered the film's expected gross by $7 million – down to $18 million or whereabouts.

Domestic box office doldrums not quite over?

How good are those figures? If accurate, they're excellent when compared to last weekend's dismal openings: Bradley Cooper / Zoe Saldana's The Words ($4.75m) and Henry Cavill / Bruce Willis' The Cool Light of Day ($1.83m). They're at best acceptable when compared to, say, Resident Evil: Afterlife, which opened with $26.65 million two years ago, or Beauty and the Beast 3D, which was rereleased (or rather, had its 3D debut) last January, collecting $17.75 million.

Beauty and the Beast 3D went on to gross a modest $47.61 million in North America and a highly disappointing $14.41 million overseas. Reportedly budgeted at $60m, Resident Evil: Afterlife brought in $60.12 million domestically and an astounding $236.09 million overseas, where 3D action / disaster movies have been all the rage since Avatar. That's likely where Resident Evil: Retribution will earn most of its cash.

Milla Jovovich Resident Evil: Retribution photo: Rafy / Screen Gems / Sony Pictures.

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17 Comments to 'Resident Evil: Retribution' Franchise's Worst Ever & 'The Master' Scores

  1. MarkPickworth

    @Chase Star Wars was not made in the 60's.Lucas began writing it in 1973,and it was released in 1977.

  2. gary jefferies

    Milla has an honest approach to these action movies, just like some of her male counterparts, lots of action and not too much conversation [i.e. Stallone, Schwarzneger, Willis and so on]. She does, in my opinion, an outstanding job of fulfilling the role as an action femme fatale. Obviously she is muscular and up to the tasks they ask her to accomplish. I know of no other femme in the movie business who could do what she does. Great job! Please keep up the fine work Milla!

  3. Rb Redmond

    I don't care. I still like Milla. She kids butt, and then some!!!

  4. jaylo

    It's too bad that The Master wasn't a bigger movie. I think it would have been an Oscar favorite, especially Joaquin Phoenix who's brilliant in the role. He was better than Daniel Day-Lewis. Phoenix is a genius.



  6. BewilderingBeing

    RE5 was not the worst of the series but I really think Paul Anderson has done a great dis-service to the franchise. Never has a Director dominated a series like Anderson has. It desperately needed fresh ideas and a new perspective but we were stuck with the same director a great majority of the time. RE Extinction was one of the only films not directed by Anderson and in my opinion was one of the best. It was gritty, dark and less bubble-gummy.

  7. Chase

    lol the funny thing is alot of people talk about hollywood being original or what not. The fact that Hollywood was original in the past actually slightly Coincidental. Since the Days of D.W. Griffith (Birth of a Nation), and from classic hollywood,, and through the Hollywood Renaissance, and up till now…The American Movie Industry has always been about making money, and money comes before everything in the movie business. Alot of International Film Industries are more about artistic film, and therefore have ultimately continue to produce more original films. The 70's was actually the most artistic period in the history of American Cinema, and one of the worst….cause the 70's brought you movies such as Easy Rider and Bonnie and Clyde (Which came out in the late 60's but, is important for understanding the 70's cause these films among other helped to kickstart the New Wave of American Cinama, Where we start to get things like The Godfather, and Apocalypse Now and so many other films, which also owe there influence to international film…and also Vietnam to an extent. But, don't get me wrong alot of International Movements throughout the world were heavily influenced By Classic Hollywood Films, and D.W. Griffith's Editing Techniques. But, Ultimately a movie named Star Wars was made in the sixties which slowly brought about the demise of the Hollywood Renaissance and the American New Wave, and with Lucas introducing the super blockbuster, merchandising become a much more prevalent, which cause corporations to realise there is money to be made in the film industry. and so a new era of greed in hollywood was born which leads us to the unoriginal movies of today which are remakes, rereleases, movies based off of comics, and games and anime and video games and so forth.

  8. Dean

    No one is sick of Nemo, Tia. It's one of Pixar's most popular films. That's why they're making a sequel.



  10. NatalieEGH

    As Stephen said, many like me do not like the 3D format. I even bought a 3D capable television and computer system before I discovered what the 3D was like. To me it feels like I am watching multiple shots (usually 3) layered over each other sort of like a children's pop up book. It does not look the same as a 3D object when I look at something in real life. Maybe it is my age but modern, and I assume the most technologically advanced, 3D movies (and I have about a dozen), just give me very bad headaches quickly.

    Every few years I might try another but until I can view the movies with getting a headache, I will continue to avoid that format except for brief tests.

  11. Steven

    Of course movie adaptions of video games are never going to be faithful … they aren't video games for a start. Christ, it is like moaning that strwaberry chocolate bars don't have the same feel as strawberry icecream, both of which also don't feel like actual strwaberries.

    As for trying to calculate revenue between movies made so far apart, I agree economy changes make it difficult. Add the fact that many (including myself) would rather not watch a movie if it is in 3D, but would opt for the non-3D. Now one could take into consideration the extra cost of viewing a 3D movie, but one must also then take into account the number of showings and how many people opt out of watching movies in 3D when there is no 2D showings.

    Again, box office takings are one dynamic of the success of a movie. Movies are typically watched and re-watched through hundreds of TV channels for decades after a cinema release and as a result can influence movie sequels, but that is a little more convoulted to digest and so doesn't get considered by the press, who use box office stats for their own purposes … which is not the same purpose as to why we choose to watch a movie ourselves, so go figure that opinions on the success of a movie differ.

    In my opnion, there are so many movies I haven't seen, that some of those must be great movies and I couldn't care less if box office stats resulted in a decline in good movies coming out … there is enough good stuff I have yet to see, that I will likely be dead before I even get to see all of those.

    So, if you are saddened by a movie not being like the video game … go play the video game. Otherwise, you are only letting yourselves down with unrealistic expectations. Expectations can be your own worst enemy, so don't let it make you feel that you have wasted your money. Instead, focus on the positive … merchandising of such movies makes more money than the box office takings, to often justify making more of these movies. Just please consider that there are people like myself that would be part of the box office stats, if they are available in 2D.

  12. Richard

    I knew L. Ron Hubbard and worked for him every day for 10 weeks in 1968. There is no comparason between the movie character and him. This movie appears to be a hit piece on Scientology that pretends not to be.
    Listen to any recorded lecture of L. Ron Hubbard to determine his tone, character and intentions.

  13. Kevin W. Clark

    Resident evil franchise was never good. It was all crap and the fact that they gave Milla super powers just to rival one of the matrix movies that was out at the time shows how much devotion to the actual original game series they had in mind. But that is expected with Hollywood always jeopardizing integrity for cheap thrills and fast money. If they have had one person who had played the games on their crew they would have been saying WTF is this.

  14. Lewis

    Ofmcourse Resi didn't make too much! It hasn't been released worldwide yet! And you can't call a movie a flop after just one week of release either. Just wait till Resident Evil is released worldwide, then the Numbers will soar.

  15. Vishnu Roy

    pli….. deat for RESIDENT EVIL movie inox vaibhav jaipur in release date and con.

  16. Vishnu Roy

    Resident Evil movie is very very nise movie and Resident Evil movie all part is my best movie, I'am comic soon for movie.

  17. Tia

    Of course “Nemo” tanked. People were sick of that mess 6 years ago. It's not timeless in the way that the older Disney films are.
    Guess now Hollywood has to be original for a change!