By Dexter Keyton, EnStarz | Sep 17, 2012 10:55 AM EDT
It was a slow weekend at the box office, but two major new releases managed to open with decent numbers. "Resident Evil: Retribution," the fifth entry in the horror/action franchise, took first place. The movie earned $21.1 million, 21 percent less than 2010′s "Resident Evil: Afterlife," which began with $26.7 million.
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This is the first time that a "Resident Evil" movie has earned less than its predecessor. The original "Resident Evil" earned $17.7 million in 2002. "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" grossed $23.0 million in 2004, while "Resident Evil: Extinction" scored $23.7 million in 2007. However, "Resident Evil: Retribution" continues to show noticeable growth overseas. With a $50 million international start this weekend, "Retribution" has a good shot at finishing ahead of "Afterlife's" $296 million worldwide total.
Disney's "Finding Nemo 3D" debuted in second place, earning an estimated $17.5 million. The family film was expected to top the chart, but was unable to match the numbers of Disney's recent 3D re-releases "The Lion King," which debuted with $30.2 million in September 2011, or even "Beauty and the Beast," which began with $17.8 million earlier this year. The 3D novelty value has definitely worn off. It also hurts that "Finding Nemo's" original release was only nine years ago, as opposed to 17 for "The Lion King." But Disney has nothing to worry about - "Finding Nemo" was converted into 3D for less than $5 million, so it should ultimately turn a huge profit.
In third place, two-time champion "The Possession" fell 38 percent to an estimated $5.8 million, for a new total of $41.2 million. Crime drama "Lawless" dipped just 30 percent to $4.2 million, bringing its total to $30.1 million. The kid-friendly comedy "ParaNorman" rounded out the top five with $3.04 million for a total of $49.3 million.
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