Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office: 'The Butler' Serves Up $25 Million and #1 Finish, 'Kick-Ass 2' Got Its Ass Kicked

The Butler's Oscar chances just got a boost

The Butler box office resultsMany are going to attribute the success of Lee Daniels' The Butler to Oprah Winfrey's ability to grab headlines heading into this weekend, which I think takes away from the fact it's a film people were genuinely interested in seeing and one that targets an underserved audience in our multiplexes across the country.

Opening to the tune of $25 million, The Butler is the #1 film in the land and come tomorrow I'll be updating my Oscar predictions in a big way in all four of the acting categories... Guess which two actors are going to get a nice little bump after the reviews and opening weekend. Go on, guess...

A little disheartening, however, a patron attending a screening of The Butler going by the name of MsFlowersTweets on Twitter has detailed an incident that happened to her and her audience attending The Butler in Silver Spring, MD over the weekend. According to her series of tweets, tickets were double validated and then upon entering the theater they "were greeted by an actual police officer who herded traffic in one direction" and after entering the theater there was "another police office inside the theater facing patrons." The officers reportedly faced what MsFlowersTweets describes as an "almost entirely black audience" throughout the duration of the entire film. I don't expect this story will blow over immediately.

On a lighter note, The Butler enjoyed an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, which would suggest it's going to holdover well next weekend and will likely do good business over the course of the week. The Weinsteins will be very happy with this result as it offers them a chance for a lot of Oscar talk right now, not to mention the talk that will be generated once they release the DVD and Blu-ray, which they can now wait and decide if they need to do that before or after nominations are announced. Not so coincidentally, The Help enjoyed similar success back in 2011 in a similar time frame. That DVD/Blu-ray was released in mid-December and it went on to earn four Oscar nominations (including Best Picture) and one win.

Kick-Ass 2 trailerLooking over Laremy's and the reader predictions, both agreed it would be Kick-Ass 2 at #1, but wow was that a whiff as the sequel to the 2010 comic adaptation brought in only $13.5 million, $6.3 million less than the lackluster opening for the original. Readers that went low on the predictions for this one will be happy to know that if they see their name below the results won't likely change with actuals, because no one went this low.

The film carried a "B+" CinemaScore, which means you're probably going to see the standard drop-off for this one if not slightly higher given the front-loaded nature of films of this sort, but unless overseas markets and DVD/Blu-ray sales are huge, don't expect Kick-Ass 3 any time soon... or ever.

As a result of Kick-Ass 2's demise, the R-rated comedy We're the Millers ended up with the second position with a fantastic holdover. Dropping only 33% in its second weekend the Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis comedy scored $17.7 million and is now guaranteed to cross the $100 million mark. This should all but guarantee Horrible Bosses 2 gets put on the fast track and I wouldn't be surprised if WB starts brain-storming ways to sequelize Millers, not that it would be too hard.

Kick-Ass 2 currently sits in fourth position, but it may get a bump to third should Elysium's 54% drop end up not being so severe as last week's #1 tumbled to the tune of a $13.6 million second weekend. Ouch.

Unfortunately Jobs wasn't as successful as its subject matter as the Ashton Kutcher-led biopic managed a middling $6.7 million, which isn't a complete disaster given the $12 million production budget, but Open Road really marketed the hell out of this one and was surely hoping for something at least in the double digits.

Finally, the Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman and Liam Hemsworth thriller, Paranoia, became the worst wide opener of the summer bringing in just $3.5 million to go with a "C+" CinemaScore to go along with its 4% RottenTomatoes score. It finished 13th, just ahead of Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, which was in 2,230 fewer theaters and managed a massive $2.3 million.

Next week sees the release of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones on Wednesday with The World's End and the horror You're Next opening wide on Friday. Those three will definitely be among the four you'll be predicting next Thursday and I wonder if Laremy will throw a small one in there or ask for second weekend Butler predictions. The suspense is killing me!

Weekend Box-Office Top Ten for August 16 - August 18, 2013

  1. Lee Daniels' The Butler was #1 at the box-office
  2. We're the Millers () - $17.9 million ($69.6m cume)
    From 3,325 theaters ($5,383 avg.) / $37 million budget / 47%
  3. Elysium () - $13.6 million ($56m cume)
    From 3,284 theaters ($4,141 avg.) / $115 million budget / 68%
  4. Planes () - $13.38 million ($45.1m cume)
    From 3,716 theaters ($3,601 avg.) / $50 million budget / 27%
  5. Kick-Ass 2 () - $13.3 million
    From 2,940 theaters ($4,524 avg.) / $28 million budget / 28%
  6. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters () - $8.7 million ($39.2m cume)
    From 3,080 theaters ($2,825 avg.) / $90 million budget / 38%
  7. JOBS () - $6.7 million
    From 2,381 theaters ($2,814 avg.) / $12 million budget / 26%
  8. 2 Guns () - $5.8 million ($59.4m cume)
    From 2,471 theaters ($2,347 avg.) / $61 million budget / 63%
  9. The Smurfs 2 () - $4.7 million ($57m cume)
    From 2,349 theaters ($2,001 avg.) / $105 million budget / 13%
  10. The Wolverine () - $4.5 million ($120.5m cume)
    From 2,058 theaters ($2,187 avg.) / $120 million budget / 69%
Click here to browse our box-office charts and compare Laremy's predictions


These are the actual weekend results and the weekend's winners are now final.
The reader prediction leaderboard has been updated and can be seen here.

  1. JOBS
  2. ACTUAL: $6.7 million
  3. Casey Bates
    $6.7 million prediction / Exactly Right!
  4. The Movie Guru
    $6.7 million prediction / Exactly Right!
  5. jess
    $6.7 million prediction / Exactly Right!
  6. jonjon
    $6.66 million prediction / $0.04 million off
  7. Ryan Jayden
    $6.75 million prediction / $0.05 million off
  1. Paranoia
  2. ACTUAL: $3.5 million
  3. rusty
    $3.5 million prediction / Exactly Right!
  4. GregDinskisk
    $3.3 million prediction / $0.2 million off
  5. cineJAB
    $3.9 million prediction / $0.4 million off
  6. Zachary Gerberick
    $3.9 million prediction / $0.4 million off
  7. Will-E
    $4.1 million prediction / $0.6 million off
Lee Daniels' The Butler
  1. Lee Daniels' The Butler
  2. ACTUAL: $24.6 million
  3. tomsen
    $24.5 million prediction / $0.1 million off
  4. azjoker1
    $24.8 million prediction / $0.2 million off
  5. Chris
    $24.8 million prediction / $0.2 million off
  6. Chris Etrata
    $24.3 million prediction / $0.3 million off
  7. Ryan Jayden
    $24.2 million prediction / $0.4 million off
Kick-Ass 2
  1. Kick-Ass 2
  2. ACTUAL: $13.3 million
  3. Baca
    $14.5 million prediction / $1.2 million off
  4. Winchester
    $17.2 million prediction / $3.9 million off
  5. Adam James
    $17.23 million prediction / $3.93 million off
  6. jonjon
    $17.3 million prediction / $4 million off
  7. navaneethks
    $17.6 million prediction / $4.3 million off

SCORING: A total number of five (5) readers win for each movie. The reader with the closest prediction on a movie wins five (5) points, second closest wins four (4) points and so on. In the event of a tie, the winner is determined by the reader that posted his/her prediction first.

For a complete look at the rules and regulations on how to compete click the "Rules & Regulations" tab at the top of the page right here.

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  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Django/ Django

    Can't believe i was $10m off on Kick Ass 2. What a disaster. Just goes to show that a sequel doesn't automatically mean it will better the success of the original.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

    Well, there go my chances of re-entering the accuracy leaderboard this weekend. Oh well.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AlanSmithee/ Alan Smithee

    Do the actual numbers have a tendency to adjust one way or the other (up or down) vs. the estimates, or does it really vary from week to week or even picture to picture?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      More often than not, they go down a smidge I would say, but that's not based on anything more than my foggy memory.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Winchester/ Winchester

    The Butler may be able to parlay that opening into close to or past $100 million if it can generate 'The Help' style buzz and word of mouth.

    I think Universal seriously overestimated the cult and potential broad appeal of the first 'Kick Ass' film but since the budget on it is reported at only $28 million it's unlikely to end up a total disaster even if domestic receipts won't even top the first film. But hey, if I'm able to retain points this week at least it's done something useful with it's existence.

    Miller should get over $100 million, 'Elysium' won't be able to cross that threshold but should be made respectable with foreign box office.

    I don't have much interest in this week's openers I gotta say though.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/andyluvsfilms/ andyluvsfilms

    Still no points, i'm obviously paying for bad things i've done in a former life.

    Poor ol' Kick Ass, it got completely whupped at the box office this weekend, the trailers did look pretty awful, maybe they just gave away too much with the five minute one.

    As for next week, I think The World's End will do ok but in my opinion its very mediocre.

    • http://www.rabidpictures.com Yaz

      It wasn't that great of a film, but a lot of people have paid a lot more collectively to see worse films on opening weekends... I think it's probably a few things:

      1) Superhero fatigue
      2) Horrible reviews
      3) No Nic Cage ;)

      Excuses are excuses... I know. But really, I'm obviously not the only one who that it would do a bit better than it did.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/chewbaca38/ Baca

    Nice, I scored in a big way. Too bad for Kick Ass though.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

    Wow, aside from The Butler those are three disastrous performances. I wonder what happens with The Butler in terms of awards...at first glance it seems like it would have a run similar to The Help and not be able to seriously contend against the more high profile heavy hitters later in the year. But The Help was backed by Disney while The Butler has the Weinstein vote buying machine behind it. So does it become the front runner at this point?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Eric83/ Eric83

    Woohoo! Let's see if I can hang on to my first point when the final numbers come in.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Adu/ Adu

    Shame to see the Kick-Ass 2 numbers. It was a perfectly enjoyable movie and a pretty good sequel in my opinion.

  • http://www.digitalkebab.com Shaun Heenan

    A real shocker for me this week. The only one I was even close on was Jobs. Millions and millions off on everything else.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lawhs89/ lawhs89

    On the story above about the police presence for "The Butler", I would be much more fearful about the audience seeing "Kick Ass 2"

  • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

    Devastated Paranoia didn't fall between 3.8 and 4.4 after an early figure said 3.9. No points again!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Chris138/ Chris138

    As someone from Silver Spring I have to say that I am rather shocked by that story.