Sunday, August 18, 2013

Butler Kicks Ass, Tops Box Office

Forest Whitaker stars in Lee Daniels' The Butler

It's been four years since The Weinstein Company (TWC) had a film debut at #1 (Inglourious Basterds) so it's especially satisfying that Lee Daniels' The Butler did so, in spite of a myriad of problems that included financing and even a last-minute name change. The Butler took in a better-than-projected $25 million this weekend to supplant last week's #1 Elysium and bury expected winner Kick-Ass 2 into fourth place.

While The Butler almost recouped its $30 million budget in just three days; Universal's Kick-Ass 2 saw its assumed success fall apart at the seams... buried under poor reviews (it currently holds a 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes, in addition to an F grade from yours truly.) Perhaps more surprising, last week's #1-2 combo swapped places, with We're the Millers dropping a mere 32.7% while picking up an additional 65 theaters in the process. Averaging a tidy $5,347 per screen, the Millers increased its domestic total to $69.5 million (almost $15M better than Elysium, which dropped 54.4% in its second week.) Disney's Planes rounded out the top five with a steady $13.1 million.

Two other wide releases, Open Road Films' Jobs and Relativity Media's Paranoia fared poorly, placing 7th and 13th (shudder) overall with B- and C+ CinemaScores respectively. Overall, total box office grosses were about even with this frame last year. Overseas, Elysium ($22M) remained #1, edging out Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters ($21.8M) Pacific Rim ($20M) The Smurfs 2 ($20M) and Despicable Me 2 ($19.5M.) Now that's close. Look for The Butler to repeat as #1 this weekend, with little to nothing in terms of new competition (all due respect to The World's End, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.)

The top 10 films for this weekend...

1. Lee Daniels' The Butler $25M

2. We're the Millers $17.8M

3. Elysium $13.6M

4. Kick-Ass 2 $13.6M

5. Planes $13.1M

6. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters $8.4M

7. Jobs $6.7M

8. 2 Guns $5.6M

9. The Smurfs 2 $4.6M

10. The Wolverine $4.4M