The 3D action film tops the box office, while a star-studded heist flick reclaims second place.
“Resident Evil: Afterlife,” the fourth film in a zombie franchise starring Milla Jovovich, easily topped the weekend box office in North America on Sunday, earning more than the next six films combined as overall sales hit their lowest level in two years.
The new champ, the only major new release during the traditionally slow weekend following the Labor Day holiday, sold $27.7 million worth of tickets across the United States and Canada, a record for the series.
The old mark was held by its predecessor, “Resident Evil: Extinction,” which opened to $23.7 million in September 2007 and finished with $51 million. Its final tally was in line with that of 2004’s “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” and bigger than the $40 million haul of 2002’s “Resident Evil.”
“Resident Evil: Afterlife” was released in 3D, which boosted its sales by about $1 million, according to rough industry estimates. Internationally, the film earned $45.5 million from 29 markets, led by No. 1 openings in Japan ($15.5 million) and Russia ($9.5 million).
The films were released by Screen Gems, the mid-budget arm of Sony Corp, which collaborated on the development with German producer Constantin Film.
Screen Gems also claimed the No. 2 movie in North America as the heist thriller “Takers” earned $6.1 million, rising one place; its total stands at $48.1 million after three weekends.
Last weekend’s top film, Focus Features’ George Clooney assassin drama “The American,” dropped to No. 3 with $5.9 million, for a 12-day haul of $28.3 million.
Rounding out the top five were the violent exploitation homage “Machete” with $4.2 million, and Drew Barrymore’s latest romantic comedy bomb “Going the Distance” with $3.8 million. Their respective 10-day totals rose to $20.8 million and $14 million.
Related Link: Resident Evil – Afterlife Full Production Notes