Ticket sales at the box office were not so dismal as they were the past two weeks, but they were hardly anything to cheer about. Most films wound up well below predictions. Resident Evil: Retribution surprised many by taking the top position with an estimated $21 million. But that was the lowest opening take of any film in the Resident Evil franchise. The 3D re-release of Disney's Finding Nemo had been expected to swim off with the weekend championship with around $25-30 million. But it fell far short of that prediction, earning just around $17.5 million, including 3D surcharges. The Possession, which had held on to first place for the previous two weeks as the box office slipped to its nadir of the year, fell to third place with $5.8 million. Rounding out the top five were Lawless with $4.2 million and ParaNorman with $3 million. The news wasn't all bad. Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master opened in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles, taking in an astonishing $730,000 -- or a per-theater average of $146,000. A record. Also opening strongly was the Richard Gere starrer Arbitrage, which took in $2.07 million in 197 theaters, or an average of $10,500 million per theater.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. Resident Evil: Retribution, $21.1 million; 2. Finding Nemo, $17.5 million; 3. The Possession, $5.8 million; 4. Lawless, $4.2 million; 5. ParaNorman, $3 million; 6. The Expendables 2, $3 million; 7. The Words, $2.88 million; 8. The Bourne Legacy, $2.875 million; 9. The Odd Life of Timothy Green, $2.5 million; 10. The Campaign, $2.4 million;