New Resident Evil takes down competition to land atop U.S. box office

The fifth installment of the zombie thriller series, based on the popular video game franchise and starring Milla Jovovich, blasted its way to number one, grossing $21.1 million (£13.2 million).

Finding Nemo 3D, a reformatted version of the 2003 animated movie, swam its way into second place with $17.5 million (£10.9 million) in takings.

Last week’s (ends09Sep12) biggest hit, creepy horror The Possession, slipped to number three with $6 million (£3.75 million).

Meanwhile, director Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film The Master, which is loosely based on the story of late author and Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, has proved to be a big hit, becoming the strongest limited release debut in U.S. box office history.

The drama, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as the leader of a controversial faith dubbed The Cause and Joaquin Phoenix as his conflicted protege, opened with an impressive $729,745 (£456,091) from just five locations in New York and Los Angeles, garnering an average of $145,949 (£91,218) per screen.