The Reject ReportIt wasn’t a stunning weekend for the motion picture box office. Not only was it the lowest, cumulative weekend for the top ten films, it was the lowest box office take for a top ten in over two years.

However, despite this low number, the blame can’t really fall on the shoulders of the individual films in the market. Rather, the deciding factor on how poorly the overall box office did this weekend was in the fact that only one film got a wide release. In a day and age where we are seeing as many as five or six films hitting thousands of screens on any given weekend, you’re sure to have the lowest weekend of the year when you are only given one.

That film, by the way, was Resident Evil: Afterlife, and it proved to pack quite a punch all on its own. With the combination of the Resident Evil franchise and the 3-D technology backing it, Resident Evil: Afterlife was able to top the opening numbers of each of the other films in the franchise. It also offered the largest opening for a zombie-themed film, a nice indication that the zombie genre is long from dead, undead, or otherwise. That’s not bad for a franchise that is exercising the law of diminishing returns as far as quality goes. This latest film, just like the others, ends with a clear opening for a fifth film, and Screen Gems won’t be looking to put the brand to bed any time soon. We can be sure to see Milla Jovovich drop-kicking more zombie dogs in the years to come. Said drop-kick will probably be delivered in 3-D, as well.

Takers was able to cling on the #2 spot for the second weekend, as its drop continues to be much lower than films like The American and Machete. Its overall take is closing in on $50 million, which is extremely commendable for a film Screen Gems/Sony Pictures allowed to sit on the shelf for more than a year. News of Takers 2 hasn’t even begun winding up, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to hear just that in the next week or two.

Here is how the weekend box office shaped up:

  1. Resident Evil: Afterlife – $27.7m NEW
  2. Takers – $6.1m (-43.9%) $48.1m total
  3. The American – $5.8m (-55.3%) $26.7m total
  4. Machete – $4.2m (-63.2%) $20.8m total
  5. Going the Distance – $3.8m (-44.3%) $14m total
  6. The Other Guys – $3.6m (-31.9%) $112.6m total
  7. The Last Exorcism – $3.4m (-53%) $38.1m total
  8. The Expendables – $3.2m (-50.9%) $98.4m total
  9. Inception – $3.2m (-50.9%) $282.4m total
  10. Eat Pray Love – $2.9m (-39.6%) $74.6m total

As I said earlier, the overall weekend was the lowest take in over two years. It was down 16% despite Resident Evil: Afterlife pulling in more than double of anything that played last weekend. This weekend was also down 10% from the same weekend last year when Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, 9, Sorority Row, and Whiteout all got wide releases.

The box office is sure to be way up next weekend, as four new releases hit. The Town, Easy A, Devil, and Alpha and Omega will all be vying for Resident Evil‘s #1 spot, but the zombie flick won’t be going down without much of a fight. It’s going to be interesting to see if any of the new films can size up to what looks to be not much of a second weekend drop off.

We’ll be back on Thursday to run down how we see the weekend turning out.

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