Finding Nemo re-release also found success in 3D.
After last weekend's anemic box office, the worst since the days immediately following 9/11, according to studio analysts, things seem to be back to normal.
Audiences haven't lost their appetite for cheap thrills and well-choreographed action, as evidenced by the $21.1 million take for Resident Evil: Retribution. While the film didn't score as much coin as the first three films in the franchise, starring Boris Kodjoe and Milla Jovovich, did snag the top spot at the box office this weekend, knocking out The Possession.
Pixar's re-release of Finding Nemo, in 3D, also won big numbers with $17.5 million and second place.
But the biggest story of the weekend was the record-breaking success of Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and actor-turned-rapper-turned-actor Joaquin Phoenix. Said to be loosely based on the Church of Scientology, the drama lucked out with a release timed perfectly with the public's preoccupation with the shadowy religion.
The Master opens wide next week, along with Dredd 3D and End of Watch, both of which will attempt to steal the young male audience away from Resident Evil.
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(Photo: Sony Pictures)