Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 18, 2012
Kim Hollis: Resident Evil: Retribution opened to $21.1 million domestically along with another $50 million internationally. What are your thoughts on this result?
Matthew Huntley: As bad and silly as this franchise is on a quality level, one thing you can never knock it for is its lackluster box-office performance. Granted, no installment in the RE series has ever been a blockbuster, at least on a domestic level, but they've been consistent mid-level winners, especially compared to their respective budgets. Even though $21 million is on the lower end of recent RE openings, it's solid enough where we'll probably see another two-to-three years from now. However, this one's price tag was unusually high at $65 million, which might force Sony to re-consider how much they want to put up for it. All in all, though, it's more or less in line with expectations.
Bruce Hall: The Resident Evil films tend to open in the low $20 million range and on a similar number of screens each time, so I guess you could call this performance "consistent", if nothing else. Debbie Downer will point out that this is the lowest opening weekend since the original, but her brother the optimist will point out that it's good enough to ensure at least one more of these eventually rolls off the assembly line. It's a reliably mediocre result from a reliably mediocre franchise whose creators and fans seem to rely ON mediocrity. So, I guess everybody wins.
Edwin Davies: This is about what I expected, not only because it's in keeping with the trend of the series to date, but also because it demonstrates the continued franchise fatigue that was hidden with the previous installment, which technically made more money than the third film because of 3D prices, but actually sold fewer tickets. Barring some new gimmick (like, I dunno, a chair that simulates the feeling of being bitten by a zombie, a la The Tingler?) Resident Evil as a series has clearly peaked domestically and we'll probably see returns diminishing even further the sixth time around. However, there will almost certainly be a sixth time around, since the international numbers already look very good, and should offset the fact that the film was noticeably more expensive than any of the other films in the series.
The other Paul Anderson has done a very good job of keeping costs low with these films and flying under the radar, in the process somehow delivering a series which will most likely have earned a billion dollars at the global box office once Retribution leaves theaters. Say what you like the quality of the films, but the return on investment for them is pretty good.
Tim Briody: We can call this mediocre compared to previous openings and while diminishing returns have begun to set in, the ridiculous amount of box office that Afterlife earned overseas means this franchise will probably keep going for a couple more films, or at least as long as Milla Jovovich wants to make them.