The Success Of Milla Jovovich’s Resident Evil Doomed The Reboot

Horror reboot Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City has proven to be a box-office disappointment, and here’s why the success of the Milla Jovovich series might be to blame. The Milla Jovovich Resident Evil movies stand out among many other video game-to-film adaptations. Game adaptations are typically greeted with (often well-earned) critical scorn, and while there have been some entertaining films based on games, there’s yet to be one that’s considered a genuine classic.

Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil from 2002 certainly doesn’t fall into that category either. Anderson’s film invented a new hero in the form of Milla Jovovich’s Alice, who had to lead a team of commandos out of an underground bunker filled with zombies and other creatures. The movie bore a loose resemblance to its source, with Anderson only taking a few elements from Capcom’s Resident Evil games. The movie was a solid hit, and Jovovich soon returned for a sequel that cranked up the action.

Related: Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City Cast And Video Game Character Guide

After a further four entries, Milla Jovovich’s Resident Evil series came to a close with 2017’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Like pretty much every other outing, it received largely bad reviews upon release, but it grossed over $300 million worldwide. Jovovich’s Resident Evil movies are the most successful based on a game, and despite their critical drubbing, the actor herself became something of an action icon. Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City promised a movie that was much more faithful to the source material, with the story combining the plotlines of the first two games. Despite this reverence for the game series, it grossed less than $10 million during its opening weekend and placed fifth behind movies like House Of Gucci.

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City should still turn a profit, but it’s on course to be a financial disappointment for a potential franchise starter. Various factors could be blamed, such as the odd lack of promotion for the reboot in the months leading up to its release, but the enduring popularity of the Milla Jovovich Resident Evil movies may have doomed it. The Resident Evil video games and films evolved into two, very distinct entities during Jovovich’s run. The film series moved further and further away from the video games while putting a focus on crazy action scenes or stunts for Jovovich to perform.

Moviegoers who have never played a game in their lives will know the franchise best from Jovovich’s Resident Evil films. Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City was a noble attempt to steer away from the wacky action of those entries, returning to the horror roots of the early games. However, general audiences with no connection to those survival horror titles may have been put off by this shift in tone, or the lack of Milla Jovovich’s Alice fronting the new adventure.

It will be interesting to see where the video game horror movie franchise will go in the aftermath of Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City’s performance. It seems unlikely the Jovovich Resident Evil saga will return as the actor and Paul W.S. Anderson have moved on, while a direct Welcome To Raccoon City sequel is starting to look unlikely. While fans of the games had little love for the way the Milla Jovovich Resident Evil movies adapted those titles, they also lasted for six movies and made over a billion collectively, so it’s little surprise they had a bigger cultural impact than expected.

Next: Everything We Know About Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City 2

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