The Master premiered to breaking box office records this past weekend – according to Sunday estimates, it made $729, 745 in just five theaters in New York City and Los Angeles for a record-setting per screen average. The Master had also won several top awards at both the Venice Film festival, as well as received almost unanimous critical acclaim from critics before its release.
Even though the Master had amazing per screen averages, Resident Evil: Retribution ended up winning the weekend in total domestic box office. The box office analyst for Hollywood.com said the film’s ranking was a bit of surprise, but "It's become so important if you have a star who resonates in the international marketplace — you can have a real winner worldwide”, giving credit to star Milla Jovovich’s tireless promotional duties.
In regard to the Master, the Weinstein Company’s president of theatrical distribution Erik Lomis said "We didn't do exit polls but from eyeballing the ArcLight (Cinemas), everyone in Los Angeles showed up. We knew we would do a lot of business but we didn't think it would be this big. We knew from not only the pop-up screenings and the guerrilla marketing PTA does but also from the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto (International) Film Festival that we had something special. But you can never expect these kinds of numbers — it blew the doors off the theaters."