Buzz at the Box Office: ‘Resident Evil’ Occupies the Top Spot, ‘The Master’ Rules in Limited Release

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A long-in-the-tooth franchise found its way to the top of the box office even as a highly-anticipated, original work broke records in limited release.

The fifth installment in director Paul W.S. Anderson’s indefatigable zombie-action series, Resident Evil: Retribution, earned the Number One spot with a modest $21.1 million – and average of just over $7,000 per screen.

Director Paul Thomas Anderson, on the other hand, brought in a record-breaking $147,262 on each of only five screens, for a total of $736,311 during The Master’s limited-release opening weekend.

What else brought people to theaters over the weekend?

Although Andrew Stanton’s first live-action effort, John Carter, failed to attract moviegoers, the filmmaker’s newly-enhanced Finding Nemo 3D brought in some $17.5 million in receipts, landing at Number Two behind Resident Evil.

After two weeks at Number One, The Possession tumbled to Number Three with a haul of $5.8 million. With a reported budget of $14 million, the film has performed well, earning more than $41 million in just three weeks.

Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy’s Lawless came in at Number Four, earning $4.3 million for a cumulative haul of $30.2 million.

And the oddball animated movie ParaNorman earned $3.039 million, which was just enough more than The Expendables 2’s $3.03 million, to claim the Number Five spot.

Although The Master’s weekend gross set a new bar for per-screen average, the film opened at Number 18. But as the critically-acclaimed drama, which stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, expands to other cities and more theaters in the coming weeks, it should be interesting to see how the film performs with mainstream moviegoers.

In the meantime, watch the theatrical trailer for The Master below:

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