September 15, 2012



This weekend’s boxoffice is looking stronger than last week’s–but that’s not saying very much.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (Screen Gems/Sony) owned Friday with $8.8M.  That’s lower than the opening days for the last several Resident Evil installments ($10.7M/$9.6M/$9.2M for the last 3), and should mean a $22M opening weekend and around $50M in total.  The movie cost $65M, but this is one of those franchises that is overwhelmingly tilted toward international appeal (the last Resident Evil made 80% of its worldwide boxoffice overseas), so a shortfall of $10M or so in the US won’t mean too much.

FINDING NEMO 3D (Pixar/Disney) was a little lower than expected with $5.3M on Friday.  It’ll make up ground in weekend matinee business, but that should only get it to around $18M for the weekend, still considerably below the $30.2M opening for the 3D version of The Lion King last September, and in line instead with the softer $17.8M weekend that Beauty and the Beast 3D had in January.  This is all found money for Disney, of course, but a bit surprising considering the shortage of family movies in the market.

Everything else in the Top 10 is a holdover, headed again by THE POSSESSION (Lionsgate) with what will probably be a $6M weekend.  The good news for all these pictures is that with nothing new at the multiplex appealing to wide audiences, the weekly declines are relatively low, in the 30-40% neighborhood.

On the exclusive release front, THE MASTER (Weinstein Company) is only in 5 NY/LA theatres, but it’s on track for a massive per-theatre average, perhaps in the range of $100K.  The question for this difficult, brilliant art film is whether it will be able to expand effectively and overcome what’s almost certain to be very mixed word of mouth.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."