Coming as a surprise to many, Sony's Resident Evil: Retribution outpaced Disney's Finding Nemo 3D for first place at the box office this weekend. The fifth installment of the video game based franchise opened with $21.05 million. Despite the first place finish, the opening weekend performance for Resident Evil: Retribution didn't quite live up to the starts of other recent Resident Evil sequels. Retribution opened 21 percent below the $26.65 million start of 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife and 11 percent below the $23.68 million debut of 2007's Resident Evil: Extinction. As has been the case with past Resident Evil films, Resident Evil: Retribution should be very font-loaded and a C+ CinemaScore rating won't help potential holding power either.
While it didn't live up to its predecessors domestically, Resident Evil: Retribution was off to a stronger international start than its predecessors in most markets. Resident Evil: Retribution grossed an estimated $50.0 million internationally, placing its worldwide haul at $71.1 million. Key international grosses included $10.3 million in Japan, $8.5 million in Russia, $4.4 million in Taiwan, $3.5 million in Brazil and $2.4 million in Korea.
Finding Nemo 3D opened below expectations this weekend with a second place start of $16.69 million. The 3D re-issue of the 2003 Pixar computer animated film couldn't live up to the $30.15 million debut of last year's The Lion King 3D. Instead, Finding Nemo 3D opened much more along the lines of the $17.75 million start of Beauty and the Beast 3D back in January of this year. Pre-release interest levels and online buzz had been high for Finding Nemo 3D, but at the end of the day 3D re-issue fatigue and Finding Nemo being only nine years old appear to have limited the film's potential in a big way. With that said, 3D animated re-issues are relatively inexpensive for Disney, so this weekend's performance was still solid with costs in mind. The lifetime unadjusted domestic gross for Finding Nemo currently stands at $356.40 million. Internationally, Finding Nemo 3D grossed $1.3 million this weekend and has grossed $5.1 million to date.
On the platform front, The Master was off to a terrific start this weekend with a three-day start of $0.736 million from just 5 locations in New York and Los Angeles. The Paul Thomas Anderson directed film from The Weinstein Company earned a per-location average of $147,262, which represented the largest per-location average of all time for a live-action film. The previous high-water mark was the $130,749 per-location average Moonrise Kingdom earned from 4 locations earlier this year. The Master opened 101 percent stronger than the $0.367 million five-location platform launch of 2002's Punch-Drunk Love. On Friday, The Master is scheduled to expand into moderate release.
Roadside's Arbitrage was off to a good start with an opening weekend take of $2.00 million from 197 locations. The thriller starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon earned a per-location average of $10,163. The opening weekend performance of Arbitrage was especially noteworthy given that the film is also available on video on demand.
Last Ounce of Courage was off to far less impressive results with just $1.59 million from 1,407 locations (giving it a soft per-location average of $1,127). The Rocky Mountain Pictures release wasn't able to duplicate the recent success of fellow Rocky Mountain Pictures release 2016: Obama's America, which out-grossed Last Ounce of Courage this weekend by grossing $1.99 million. 2016 has grossed $30.04 million to date.
Labor Day weekend releases The Possession and Lawless took third and fourth place this weekend with respective grosses of $5.77 million and $4.35 million. Lionsgate's The Possession fell 38 percent from last weekend, while The Weinstein Company's Lawless fell just 28 percent. In general, holds were strong this weekend as this weekend's new releases didn't have much of an effect on holdovers. Respective total grosses stand at $41.13 million for The Possession in 17 days and at $30.27 million for Lawless in 19 days.