The Master Sets Box Office Record
As if to prove that people will go to the movies in September if you give them something worthwhile to see, a little film from The Weinstein Co., titled The Master, sold out virtually every seat in the five theaters in New York and Los Angeles where it opened over the weekend. The film, which had only weeks before received critical praise and major awards at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, raked in $736,311 or a record $147,262 per theater. By contrast, the No. 1 film, Resident Evil: Retribution recorded $6,989 per theater. The latest installment of the Resident Evil franchise took in a total of $21.05 million, the lowest amount yet for the five-film series. Nevertheless it was the highest earner of any film released this month. Box office analysts had expected a far better overall performance at theaters. They had predicted that the 3D re-release of Disney's Finding Nemo would land on top with around $25-30 million in ticket sales. Instead, it managed to bring in just $16.69 million, including 3D surcharges. Lionsgate's The Possession, which had held on to first place during the previous two weeks fell to a distant third place with $5.77 million. The remaining six films in the top ten took in less than $16 million -- combined. Besides The Master, there was one other solid opener. The Richard Gere starrer Arbitrage from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions opened in 197 theaters with $2 million, or $10,163 per theater -- despite the fact that it was also available via pay TV.