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‘The Master’ smashes records opening in two cities

MelissMcCarthy arrives 2012 Creative Arts Emmys NokiTheatre Saturday Sept. 15 2012 Los Angeles. (Phoby Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Melissa McCarthy arrives at the 2012 Creative Arts Emmys at the Nokia Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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box office

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters (in millions):

1. Resident Evil $21.1

2. Finding Nemo 3D $17.5

3. The Posession $5.8

4. Lawless $4.2

5. ParaNorman $3

6. The Expendables $3

7. The Words $2.88

8. The Bourne Legacy $2.875

9. Odd Life...Timothy $2.5

10.The Campaign $2.4

Updated: October 18, 2012 6:21AM

Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s cult drama “The Master” commanded a huge following in its opening weekend, smashing records on just a handful of screens.

The Weinstein Co. release made $729,745 in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a record-setting per-screen average of $145,949, according to Sunday studio estimates. The hugely anticipated film, which will open Friday in Chicago, stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a charismatic cult leader and Joaquin Phoenix as his wayward protege.

The No. 1 film at the box office was “Resident Evil: Retribution,” which took in an estimated $21.1 million in its debut. That topped the 3-D re-release of the Disney Pixar animated favorite “Finding Nemo,” which opened in second place with $17.5 million.


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