“Resident Evil: Retribution” kicked butt at the weekend domestic box office, rolling up $21 million and swamping the 3D re-release of "Finding Nemo."
It was even bigger overseas, grossing an estimated $50 million from 50 markets, led by a $10.3 million opening in Japan. That's the biggest of the year for a Hollywood movie there, topping both "Dark Knight Rises" and "The Avengers." It also made $8.5 million in Russia.
The series has been a global moneymaker for Screen Gems, bringing in more than $675 million since the first film debuted a decade ago. The vast majority — around 70 percent — of that has come from overseas sales, and that is expected to be the case with this installment.
The most recent film, 2010’s “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” took in $296 million worldwide. When compared with the same territories that film opened in, "Retribution" took in about 28 percent more than its predecessor, a good sign for Screen Gems and Constantin Films.
Disney’s “Finding Nemo” made about $17.5 million from 2,904 U.S. theaters. That's way under the $30 million projected by some industry analysts going into the weekend. Those numbers are close to the ones posted by the 3D version of “Beauty and the Beast,” which bowed to $17 million in January and topped out at $47 million. Last year’s 3D re-release of “Lion King” debuted with $30 million and took in $94 million domestically.
With those two films leading the way, the North American box office was on pace to come in at around $80 million. That's about 15 percent off from the same weekend last year when the 3D re-release of “Lion King” was tops, but better than last week’s dismal $68 million.
"Resident Evil," is the fifth film in the franchise based on the Capcom survival horror video game series of the same name. Its numbers are in line with the franchise’s previous entries. “Resident Evil: Afterlife” debuted to $26 million in 2010, “Resident Evil: Extinction” opened to $23.7 million in 2007 and “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” bowed to $23 million in 2004.
"Retribution" played at 3,012 locations. Sixty-four percent of the opening weekend audience was male and 45 percent was under 25. "Retribution" got a big boost from 3D, which made up 48 percent of the audience. The film also played at Imax theaters and took in $3 million domestically and another $3.1 million from big screens overseas.
“Possession,” which has been No. 1 the past two weeks, finished third with $5.8 million. The Lionsgate exorcism tale’s overall box office is at $41 million.
"Lawless," the Prohibition Era crime drama from the Weinstein Company, took in $4.2 million to up its overall domestic haul to $30 million after three weeks.
Focus Features' "ParaNorman" and Lionsgate's "Expendables 2" both wound up at around $3 million. Both of those films are in their fifth week of release.
CBS Films' "The Words" took in $2.8 million in its second week, the same figure that Universal's "Bourne Legacy' delivered in its sixth week.
Disney's "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" ($2.5 million) and Warner Bros.' "The Campaign' ($2.4 million) were next.
Absent from the top ten for the first time in the weeks was the documentary "2016: Obama's America," which crossed the $30 million mark in overall grosses. It took in $2 million from 1,083 screens over the weekend.