Paul W.S. Anderson's "Resident Evil: Retribution" opened in first place at the box office over the weekend, raking in $21 million in ticket sales. That news might come as a surprise to those who haven't been keeping up with the "Resident Evil" franchise.
"Retribution" -- which, like "Resident Evil: Afterlife" was released in 3D -- is the fourth straight "Resident Evil" film to finish in first place at the box office during its opening frame. Since the release of "Resident Evil" in March of 2002, all five films in the franchise have grown internationally: $62 million, $78 million, $97 million, $236 million. "Retribution" opened in 50 territories overseas and grossed an estimated $50 million, more than "Resident Evil: Afterlife" earned during its first salvo. That puts the fifth film in this franchise on course to top $236 million internationally. All told, the "Resident Evil" films have earned almost $1 billion in worldwide box office.
One reason "Resident Evil" may become one of the quietest $1 billion franchises in the history of Hollywood is that domestic audiences have cooled on the films; per EW.com, "Resident Evil: Retribution" sold the fewest tickets of any film in the series thus far. Not that Sony, the studio behind the "Resident Evil" franchise, minds too much: As U.S. grosses are slowly waning, international ticket sales are booming. Think of "Resident Evil" like an R-rated zombie version of "Ice Age," a franchise that is more important to overseas audiences than those here in the States.
All of which is to say, Paul Thomas Anderson wasn't the only Paul Anderson to have a good weekend at the box office.
[Numbers via Box Office Mojo]
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NPR wasn't among them: Most of the time, though, Radnor seems pretty impressed with the version of himself he's playing. This also was a problem with his other film, in which he played a would-be novelist who casually adopts a kid who gets lost on the subway. His character's relationship with a younger person isn't quite as reckless this time, but we're clearly supposed to love both characters for the way they pick up strays. "HappyThankYouMorePlease" was more of an ensemble piece, so Radnor didn't dominate. This time, the only character other than Jesse who gets much screen time is the underwritten, over-innocent Zibby. When Nat counsels that "Everything is OK," he appears to be affirming, well, everything. But Liberal Arts appears designed primarily to affirm Josh Radnor.
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