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“Resident” Takes Up Number One Vacancy

Hollywood has a model for a successful video-game-to-film franchise. The “Resident Evil” franchise has consistently performed, though not to huge returns. Resident Evil: Afterlife easily led all films this weekend with $27.7 million in sales. Both Resident Evil: Extinction and Resident Evil: Apocalypse both grossed around $4 million less. However, neither of the previous entries benefitted from inflated 3D ticket prices.

The rest of the top ten was far behind. Takers landed at number two position with $6.1 million. That more than covers its production cost of $32 million. The American maintained the holding pattern, grabbing number three with an additional $5.8 million. Machete has been a bit of a disappointment, only rising to the failure of its source material, Grindhouse.

The Expendables is walking at an old man’s pace to $100 million, falling just short this weekend at $98.4 million domestic. The Last Exorcism has nearly had its last hurrah after falling rapidly in the charts to seventh place. Inception maintains a death grip on ninth place, refusing to give up the spot to a fading Eat Pray Love.

The Top Ten

  1. 1. Resident Evil: Afterlife - $27.7M (weekend)… $27.7M (gross)
  2. 2. Takers - $6.1M…$48.1M
  3. 3. The American - $5.8M…$26.7M
  4. 4. Machete - $4.2M…$20.8M
  5. 5. Going The Distance - $3.8M…$14.0M
  6. 6. The Other Guys - $3.6M… $112.6M
  7. 7. The Last Exorcism - $3.4M … $38.1M
  8. 8. The Expendables - $3.2M… $98.4M
  9. 9. Inception - $3.0M… $282.4M
  10. 10. Eat Pray Love - $2.9M … $74.6M

Next week is fully stocked with four films jockeying for position. Easy A is described as an off-kilter romantic comedy starring Emma Stone. The teenage drama centers on an unknown high school girl who gains infamy by pretending to have illicit encounters with awkward male classmates. The concept seems different and fun, and although it stars a female lead it could potentially have a crossover appeal with male audiences.

Alpha and Omega opens in the least locations. It will snag many of the 3D screens from holdover Resident Evil, though the film’s animation appears to be a bit dated. The concept is also stale, with two animals who don’t like each other forced together to procreate. Amidst the hijinks – surprise, surprise, they learn to like each other. Still, with few kids’ films available for families, this movie could score a modest haul with parents and children.

Ben Affleck resumes his position behind the camera for The Town, a moody drama focusing on the seedy underbelly of Boston. Marketing went a bit far in giving the entire storyline away, a goof that could keep people at home waiting for the DVD. Ben Affleck has a tough time at the box office, but his first directorial effort Gone Baby Gone earned him respect. Also, crime dramas are a favorite of movie fans so The Town could take the top spot.

The most anticipated film of the batch however, is Devil. The movie gained notoriety when the trailer premiered with Inception. Around the country audiences booed and heckled at the indication of M. Night Shyamalan’s involvement in conceiving the story. The studio never fixed the branding nightmare, and his name still appears in every preview. It will be up to movie goers to decide if they will put the name behind them and give the story a chance this Friday.


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