American film critic Roger Ebert gave the film a one star review, criticising it as a blatant copy of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead, finding the Undead in Resident Evil to be noticeably "graceless" in comparison. Ebert also panned the film script for a lack of small talk, with all dialogue being exposition, exclamations or military commands.
Resident Evil opened with a $17.7 million opening weekend. The second weekend's haul was down to $6.7 million and at the third weekend, it had nosedived down to $2.9 million. It fell out of the Top Ten after only 2 weeks, dropping from appearing at over 2,500 screens down to just 67. Still, with a production budget of $32 million and a domestic gross of $40 million ($102 million worldwide), it is seen as a success and has spawned four sequels (2014).