'Resident Evil' Breathes Life Into Stagnant Box; 'The Master' Off to Red-Hot Start

Leave it to the walking dead to breathe a little life into the box office charts. 
 
After a dismal, flatlining weekend in theaters, newcomer films Resident Evil: Retribution at the souped-up Finding Nemo 3D raced to the top of the box office Top 10 to lead the weekend and put some bang back into the charts. 
 
Paul W.S. Anderson’s latest Resident Evil sequel wiped away the competition, posting an estimated $21.1 million for its opening weekend. However, you need to take the number with a grain of salt. The Resident Evil movies have suffered lighter opening-weekend numbers. Retribution opens behind 2010’s Afterlife ($26.6M), which opened slightly ahead of 2007’s Extinction ($23.6M). 
 
So this latest sequel is on the low end of RE openings … but it likely made enough to guarantee that Anderson and his leading lady (and spouse) Milla Jovovich will get to make the final chapter they have been talking about, likely in the next few years. 
 
If Disney’s looking for an excuse to continue releasing 3D versions of its animated classics, then the $17.5M earned by Nemo over the weekend should give them plenty of reasons. The underwater Pixar adventure couldn’t claim the top slot in the Top 10, which The Lion King managed back in  2011. But Nemo has paved the way for the next wave of upgraded 3D features, which will continue with an enhanced version of Monsters Inc. on Dec. 19. 
 
Elsewhere, Paul Thomas Anderson’s anticipated film The Master didn’t make the Top 10, but its $730,000 from only five theaters makes it the highest specialty box office opening of 2012, and bodes very well for the film as it continues to expand in coming weeks. 
 
Here’s the full Top 10 list for the weekend:
 
MOVIE / WEEKEND / TOTAL
 
1. Resident Evil: Retribution, $21.1M
2. Finding Nemo 3D, $17.5M
3. The Possession, $5.8M, $41.1M
4. Lawless, $4.2M, $30.1M
5. ParaNorman, $3M, $49.3M
6. The Expendables 2, $3M, $80.2M
7. The Words, $2.8M, $9.1M
8. The Bourne Legacy, $2.8M, $107.8M
10. The Campaign, $3.5M, $79.4M
 

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