Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘Resident Evil 4’ looks to kill ‘Eclipse’ redux

HollywoodNews.com: Even though fanboys and girls have ventured back to college, Sony/Screen Gems and Summit Entertainment are looking to lure them back to the cinema this weekend.

Sony/Screen Gems unspools “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” the fourth installment in a series that’s based on the popular zombie videogame. Except for the first film which was a March entry, the rest of the series has played during the September frame.

And talk about creative commitment: while Paramount disabled its “Tomb Raider” franchise, also based on a vidgame, with Angelina Jolie after the sequel failed to live up to the first one’s $100 million-plus domestic B.O., “Resident Evil” has been running strong among cult fans for eight years. The last chapter, 2007’s “Resident Evil: Extinction” posted the franchise’s best bow with $23.7 million (also it’s the best domestic cume of $50.6 million) and “Afterlife” is gunning for a record thanks to its playability in 3D. “Afterlife” is also rated R, so expect real zombie guts to fly at the audience — in 3D.

Each “Resident Evil” film has been directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and has starred Milla Jovovich as the lead zombie hunter Alice. This time, she battles the Undead in Los Angeles. “Afterlife” will play at 2,909 theaters, 2,100 of which are 3D including 141 Imax runs in the cinema format.

“Afterlife” cost $60 million, with Sony nabbing domestic rights for $52 million.

To date, Rotten Tomatoes hasn’t registered any reviews on “Afterlife.”

The studio didn’t screen the film for many critics in an effort to secure young males, however, U.K.’s The Sun saw the film and yells, “Stupid, over the top but a lot of fun and, once again, ending with the promise of yet another sequel.”

While “Afterlife” is the only new wide release, Summit is seeking to push “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” past the $300 million mark this weekend with a rerelease of the threequel in 1,187 theaters. Why? In celebration of Bella’s birthday (the film’s main femme for those in the dark) which falls on September 13. Current cume for “Eclipse” stands at $298.8 million.


Photo Credit: Sony, Summit

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