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Resident Evil’s film franchise will reach $1 billion milestone

All six have been big money-winners

Screen Gems/Sony Pictures
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter opened this week, and rates 39 percent "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes and a 53 on Metacritic. Those scores, the highest in series history, aren’t exactly great, but that don't matter none, because the franchise is going to make its billionth dollar in some theater this weekend.

Deadline reports that Resident Evil flicks have grossed a combined $954 million, globally, since the first one premiered in 2002. With The Final Chapter grossing $35 million in Japan since its Dec. 23 launch there, and Sony estimating a $30 million weekend for it coming up, the series will inevitably cruise past the big billion-with-a-B mark, making it the richest video game adaptation in movie history.

Of course, few other video game franchises have gone for six movies, much less had someone as enthusiastically committed to them as Milla Jovovich. Still, a billion is a billion. The last two RE movies, which premiered in 2010 and 2012, each grossed more than $240 million worldwide.

"Screen Gems has created the highest-grossing video game-based franchise of all time," Josh Greenstein, marketing boss for Sony Pictures, boasted in a statement to Deadline.

The film is opening at 3,104 theaters domestically and also premieres in Europe, Brazil and Korea this weekend.

If The Final Chapter's Metacritic score does hold up, that would make it the highest-scoring video game film on that aggregator, edging out 2001's Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. That is also the top scorer, at 44 percent, over on Rotten Tomatoes. Video gaming's most recent attempt to make a critically respectable film, Assassin's Creed, ended in failure, as all the others did before.

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