Friday Report: 'Resident Evil,' 'Nemo' Tread Water
The box office rebounded a bit on Friday, though Resident Evil: Retribution and Finding Nemo (3D) both fell short of their predecessors.

The Top 10 earned an estimated $21.5 million yesterday, which is up 60 percent from last Friday's dismal showing. Still, it's noticeably off from the same Friday last year ($26.3 million), which suggests it's going to be another down weekend at the box office.

Resident Evil: Retribution took first place with an estimated $8.4 million from 3,012 locations. That's the lowest opening day for the franchise since the original movie in 2002, and it also marks the first time that a new installment has earned less than the previous one (Afterlife debuted to $10.7 million in 2010). Sony is currently estimating a three-day weekend of $22 to $23 million, which puts Retribution in line with Apocalypse and Extinction but below Afterlife.

Finding Nemo's 3D re-release debuted to an estimated $5.06 million yesterday. Despite having the widest release yet among the current crop of re-releases (2,904 locations), this was the lowest debut so far (with the exception of the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 (3D) double feature). In comparison, The Lion King 3D earned $8.9 million around the same time last year, while Beauty and the Beast 3D did better as well with $5.6 million. If Finding Nemo follows The Lion King's pattern, it will wind up with around $17 million for the three-day weekend.

The Possession eased 37 percent to an estimated $1.82 million, which brings its total to a solid $37.2 million. Lawless held even better, dipping a light 24 percent to $1.36 million for a total of $27.3 million. The Words rounded out the Top Five with an estimated $930,000, which is a 41 percent decline from last week. Through eight days in theaters, the movie has earned a terrible $7.2 million, and it's going to have a hard time even getting to $15 million before the end of its run.

Last Ounce of Courage opened to an estimated $690,000 from 1,407 locations, which was good for 10th place at the box office on Friday. The Rocky Mountain Pictures release should earn around $2 million through Sunday.

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master debuted to an incredible $242,000 from just five locations yesterday (three in New York, two in Los Angeles). That translates to $48,400 per theater, which is up from May's Moonrise Kingdom ($43,082). That movie currently holds the opening weekend average record for a live-action movie, though that record should belong to The Master by the end of the weekend.

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Grosses for Friday, September 14, 2012