“Resident Evil: Afterlife” Leads Quiet Box Office

The fall movie season started quietly even as the return of super zombie fighter Alice in “Resident Evil: Afterlife” gave the franchise its best opening weekend-ever with $27.7 million, one of the highest post-Labor Day weekend gross in recent years.

The first weekend of fall is traditionally seen as among the slowest of the year, and it showed this year as the no.2 spot went to the ensemble action-thriller “Takers” with $6.1 million. Last week’s top-grosser, George Clooney’s “The American,” took a 55 percent drop with $5.9 million in third place, followed by “Machete,” which collected $4.2 million for a $20.8 million two-week total.

Drew Barrymore’s romantic comedy “Going the Distance” came in fifth with $3.8 million. Rounding out the top ten this weekend were holdovers “The Other Guys,” “The Last Exorcism,” “The Expendables,” “Inception,” and “Eat Pray Love.”

As for “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” Sony could not help but be ecstatic about the staying power of the based-on-video-game movie franchise. While “Afterlife” was tops in the US and Canada, it did even better in the international box-office. “We did terrific in the U.S., but internationally it really killed,” Sony distribution president Rory Bruer said, noting that the film took $42.5 million in 29 foreign markets. “To take it to this level on the fourth installment really says a lot about the franchise.”