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Posted at 8:50 AM ET, 09/13/2010

Weekend box office: 'Resident Evil' is the uncontested winner, while Joaquin Phoenix fizzles

By Jen Chaney

Milla Jovovich, standing triumphant in "Resident Evil: Afterlife." (Screen Gems)

"Resident Evil: Afterlife" -- the fourth movie in the video game-inspired franchise and the first in 3D -- was the only major wide release of the weekend. As such, it easily topped the box office, with a projected $27.7 million to its credit.

Read on to find out how its performance compares to previous "Evil" flicks, how the Joaquin Phoenix documentary "I'm Still Here" fared in limited release and why "Inception" can now be considered the summer's most durable hit.

"Resident Evil: Afterlife" had the strongest opening in the franchise's history, but only in terms of dollars earned. According to Box Office Mojo, attendance for the Milla Jovovich bullet-blaster marked a low point for the series. In other words, that $27.7 million may have been a *tad* inflated because of the cost of all those 3D tickets.

Nevertheless, the people at Screen Gems must be happy. The studio, a subsidiary of Sony, distributed both "Afterlife" and the No. 2 movie in the country, "Takers," which brought in $6.1 million in its third week in theaters.

Meanwhile, "I'm Still Here" -- the documentary about Joaquin Phoenix's descent into weirdness -- did mediocre business in limited release. On just 19 screens, the Casey Affleck-directed film earned $104,500, not as much as one would hope given the months of built-in hype that preceded its arrival.

"Inception" also marked yet another milestone, remaining in the box office top 10 for the ninth consecutive week. That's the longest time that any of this summer's films has stayed parked on the list of most lucrative movies, surpassing the eight weeks "Toy Story 3" spent in the top 10. "Inception" has now earned more than $729 million worldwide. Another of the summer's blockbusters, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," also added to its tally over the weekend; re-releasing in theaters just ahead of Bella Swan's birthday, it's now very close to hitting the $300 million mark in terms of North American revenue.

Now, on to next weekend, when the fall season gets underway in more legitimate fashion, with buzzed-about selections like "Easy A" and Ben Affleck's "The Town." Will one of those knock "Resident Evil" out of the No. 1 spot? Make a prediction by voting in our box office poll.

By Jen Chaney  | September 13, 2010; 8:50 AM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Box Office  
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The makers of "Inception" secretly planted a "tell your friends" message subliminally throughout the picture. In is a "sleeper" message that viewers only remember when they are dreaming. Then they tell their friends next morning to go see the film.

Posted by: reddragon1 | September 13, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

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