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    Resident Evil: Retribution Tops Box Office, Kinda-Sorta Scientology Movie Electrifies It

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    Resident Evil: Retribution, The Master
    Resident Evil: Retribution, The Master Screen Gems, Sony Pictures

    There was a red-hot movie—finally—at the box office.

    And by box office, we mean, at a handful of theaters in New York and Los Angeles.

    Resident Evil: Retribution was the movie nation's overall No. 1 film, per Friday-Sunday estimates, grossing $21.1 million from more than 3,000 screens.

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    Domestically, the debut was more of the so-so same for the slumping Hollywood. It was about $5 million under that of the last Resident Evil installment, 2010's Afterlife, and was the smallest yet for a sequel in the sci-fi franchise.

    Internationally, the film cleaned up, opening bigger than The Avengers in Japan, and scoring $50 million overall overseas. Add it up, and the film's worldwide debut hit $71.1 million. 

    Back on the homefront, the Finding Nemo 3-D re-release was another mild disappointment. The Pixar classic grossed $17.5 million from some 2,900 locations, a far cry from the $30 million-plus made by the 3-D re-release of The Lion King in the same weekend last year.

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    The real juice, meanwhile, came via Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.

    The Oscar buzz film, which was inspired by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, but is "not a Scientology movie," per star Philip Seymour Hoffman, grossed $729,745 at five theaters, Exhibitor Relations reported.

    Its per-screen average, of about $146,000, was the 11th-biggest for any film ever, per BoxOfficeMojo.com stats.

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    Elswhere, The Dark Knight Rises ($2.1 million; $441 million overall domestically) slipped from the Top 10 after a eight-week run that was blockbuster, but ultimately marred by tragedy. Its predecessor, The Dark Knight, remained in the rankings for 10 weeks, collecting $521 million while it was there.

    Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Exhibitor Relations:

    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, $3.04 million
    6. The Expendables 2, $3 million
    7. The Words, $2.9 million
    8. The Bourne Legacy, $2.88 million
    9. The Odd Life of Timothy Green, $2.5 million
    10. The Campaign, $2.4 million
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