Itís looking like a revived box office at the start of the domestic weekend. The respectable grosses for both opening movies are a relief for Hollywood after weeks of lackluster theatrical sales and the lowest-grossing weekend in at least four years. Total movie going this weekend will $85M, but thatís still -10% from last year when The Lion King in 3D made $30.1M.
In contrast, Disney/Pixarís 3D version of its 2003 blockbuster Finding Nemo (2,904 theaters) looks like $5M Friday and at least $18.3M for the weekend. But it could go higher given the lack of fresh kid movies in the multiplex. Resident Evil: Retribution (3,012 theaters) is the 5th installment in the sci-fi horror franchise and an easy #1 against the clownfish. It opened with $8.8M Friday helped by its $665K from midnight screenings. But it should top out at $23M for the weekend, which is less than the franchiseís 4th installment.
From early returns from international including Japan, this could be the biggest one yet, a Sony exec said Friday night. Frankly, the blogosphere has not always been kind to this series or the writing/directing/producing team of Paul W.S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt (Impact Pictures). But I canít argue with its amazing success! Watch this new TV Spot for Finding Nemo 3D: