Moviegoers like ‘Evil’

Action sequel banks $9.2 million Friday

“Resident Evil: Extinction,” the third installment of Screen Gems zombie actioner franchise, loaded up $9.2 million for the top spot at Friday’s box office.

Pic’s first Friday B.O. is on par with the opening day take of its 2004 sequel, “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” and 36% higher than the first “Evil” which bowed in March 2002. “Apocalypse” went on to grab the top spot of its early September 2004 frame with $23 million and a final domestic tally of $50.7 million.

Playing in 2,828 locations, “Extinction” is pacing well ahead of the weekend’s competish for the top spot at the box office.

The Dane Cook-Jessica Alba romantic comedy “Good Luck Chuck” placed second yesterday, swooning $4.9 million from 2,612 theaters. Pic’s Friday is 17% higher than the first day of Cook’s previous fall outing, last year’s “Employee of the Month” which co-starred Jessica Simpson. That film opened at $11.4 million during the first weekend of October and “Chuck” is expected to outpace it.

The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow drama “The Brave One” grabbed $2.2 million from 2,755 hardtops in its second Friday, 52% off from its opening day. Pic’s current cume stands at $19.9 million.

Focus Features’ wide expansion of David Cronenberg’s Russian mafia drama “Eastern Promises” took the fourth spot at the Friday box office with $1.8 million off 1,404 theaters, bringing its eight day cume to $2.6 million.

Lionsgate’s western “3:10 to Yuma” grossed $1.74 million yesterday on 2,902 for fifth, down 37% from last Friday. Since its Sept. 7 opening, the Russell Crowe-Christian Bale headliner has roped $33.3 million.

Ranking just behind “Yuma,” was U’s Amanda Bynes entry “Sydney White” with $1.73 million off 2,104.

Among other arthouse expansions in their sophomore frame, Tri-Star-Revolution’s “Across the Universe” posted $643,000 from 276 locales and a current cume of $1.6 million while Warner Independent’s “In the Valley of Elah” grossed $336,000 from 317, moving its total take to $518,000. Par Vantage’s opener “Into the Wild,” directed by Sean Penn, touted Friday’s highest screen average with $14,752 or $59,000 from four theaters.

The Brad Pitt oater “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” corralled $44,000 from 15 locations for a per screen average of $2,958.

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