This weekend at the box office, a superhero comedy, a Steve Jobs biopic, and a Harrison Ford thriller all got served by a butler. “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” to be exact. The Weinstein Company’s awards-bait drama, which stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, topped the chart with an excellent $25 million from 2,933 theaters in its first frame. Audiences issued the well-reviewed picture an enthusiastic “A” CinemaScore grade, which sets it up for a lucrative box office run as summer draws to a close.
“We’re the Millers” maintained its spot in second place. The pot-smuggling comedy, which stars Jason Sudiekis and Jennifer Aniston, fell only 33 percent in its second weekend to $17.8 million and has now lit up $69.5 million worth of tickets against a trim $37 million budget. “Millers” is now a lock to surpass $100 million at the domestic box office, which would make it Sudeikis’ second film to reach the milestone (alongside his previous Aniston team-up, “Horrible Bosses”), and Aniston’s sixth.
Last weekend’s champ, “Elysium,” took a major hit in its sophomore frame. The $115 million sci-fi film dropped 54 percent — the largest fall in the top 10 — to $13.6 million, which gives the tepidly received spectacle a $55.9 million total. Currently, “Elysium” seems headed for an $85 million to $90 million finish — well below director Neill Blomkamp’s $115.6 million finish for “District 9.”
Down in fourth place, Universal’s “Kick-Ass 2” stumbled in its opening weekend with a meager $13.5 million. That’s a big step below the original “Kick-Ass,” which debuted to $19.8 million en route to $48.1 million total in 2010. While that was hardly an eye-popping total, Universal pushed ahead with a sequel based on “Kick-Ass”‘ popularity in geek circles and its strong home video sales. Unfortunately, few people were very interested in the sequel (including star Jim Carrey, who would not do any publicity for the R-rated film after deciding he would not promote violence).
The real news is the complete disaster for the movie industry at the box office this summer. Hollywood has dropped more bombs this year than the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.
$25 million might sound like a lot of money to you or me, but it’s not even in the top 100 for an opening weekend of a top Hollywood production. Elysium flopped in week two and Kick Ass laid an egg.
Meanwhile Tommy Christopher is freaking out over armed guards in a movie theater showing The Butler and I appear to have been banned from Mediaite.