Welcome to the all-Resident Evil edition of the weekend box office report! The fourth entry in the RE series was the only new release of the weekend, which means its ascendency to number one was all but ordained by God. God is still a big 3D fan, in case you didn’t know.
|1||Resident Evil 4||$27,700,000||$27.7|
|5||Going the Distance||$3,835,000||$14|
|6||The Other Guys||$3,600,000||$112.6|
|7||The Last Exorcism||$3,450,000||$38.1|
|10||Eat Pray Love||$2,900,0000||$74.6|
September 2010 has started where this past summer left off – overall, attendance was down. Box office grosses naturally followed, falling by nearly 10% compared to this same week in 2009. Still, everything looked rosy from the perspective of Sony Pictures – the studio that can claim four of the week’s top ten films, including its number one Resident Evil 3D.
Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth installment in what has to be the most successful video-game adaptation of all-time (though that’s really nothing to brag about), made an estimated $27.7 million from 3,203 locations this weekend. At least 2,000 of the film’s venues screened the film in its 3D format, which explains why, eight years after Paul WS Anderson directed the first Resident Evil movie, the franchise has remained a consistent performer.
In fact, the 3D Afterlife has now shattered the first-weekend franchise record of $23.6 million set by Resident Evil: Extinction back in September of 2007. Sony booked its 3D screens for two weeks, which also means that Afterlife may also be able to break another long-standing RE record: Afterlife has the potential to become the first film in franchise history to avoid an over 62% drop-off in its second week.
Aside from the clear domination of RE 3D, the rest of the top ten was damn near inert. Bouncing back from its $1.7 million Friday tie with The American, Sony’s Takers continues to be a commanding presence at number two after three weeks in theatres – if anyone can consider a gross of $6.1 million “commanding.” Machete took a big 63% hit in its second week – falling much farther than expected after its near-number one debut last weekend.
Going the Distance was much slower than Machete out of the gate, which is why its 56% hold in week two is kind of a surprise. Then again, when we’re talking about a weekend gross that is less than $4 million, there really isn’t a way to positively spin that.
Next week Hollywood will make up for this weekend’s single entree with four new wide releases including Ben Affleck’s The Town and the horror/thriller Devil, from the director behind 2008’s profitable Quarantine. In the battle of the boring titles, I’m rooting for The Town, but I was rooting for Scott Pilgrim as well… and we all know how that turned out.