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Weekend Box Office Report: August 16-18, 2013

08.18.2013

The Butler did it!

Although four new wide releases entered the theatrical arena this past weekend, it was LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER that handed out steaming dishes of defeat to all the competition, taking the #1 spot with an opening of $25 million!

Undoubtedly boosted by the presence of (and promotion by) co-star Oprah Winfrey, the fact-based story of a long-serving White House butler (Forest Whitaker) nearly made back its reported production cost in its first three days. It also seemed to please audiences ('A' CinemaScore) and critics (currently 73% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Director Daniels' previous darling PRECIOUS ended up with $47.5 million back in 2009, and since it also won a bucket of awards, we can probably also expect to see the Weinsteins giving the push for THE BUTLER at the beginning of next year.

With a firm grip on second place was last week's #2 movie WE'RE THE MILLERS with another $17.7 million, only a 32% drop from opening weekend for the Jason Sudeikis/Jennifer Aniston drug-dealer comedy. Business in general was kind of slow this week, but perhaps a straight drama and an R-rated comedy at the top of the chart is an indication that crowds are a bit exhausted from the flash-and-dazzle and family-friendly offerings of the summer.

Coming in third was last week's winner ELYSIUM with $13.6 million. Director Neill Blomkamp's new R-rated sci-fi film doesn't seem to be gaining the "must-see" status that his DISTRICT 9 enjoyed a few summers ago, although the Matt Damon headliner is now up to $93 million worldwide and still hasn't been released in some major international areas.

Getting battered into fourth place was the movie that many expected to win the weekend, the sequel KICK-ASS 2 with $13.5 million. Audiences were mostly cool with the vibrant but violent high-concept comic adaptation ('B+' CinemaScore) but critics gave it a vicious clobbering (29% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to the original movie's 77%).

The first KICK-ASS (directed by Matthew Vaughn, replaced on the sequel with Jeff Wadlow) wasn't a box office smash either, despite strong pre-release buzz from Comic Con and movie fan-sites -- it opened with $19.8 million, but went on to $96 million globally and became a big enough moneymaker on home video to eventually justify a sequel going into production. KICK-ASS 2 has only generated $6.3 million overseas so far, but it expands into many additional international territories over the next month.

Landing in fifth was Disney's CARS sorta-spinoff PLANES with $13.1 million, while PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS took a dip in sixth with $8.3 million (the sequel is up to $75 million worldwide). In seventh place was the new biopic JOBS with $6.7 million -- apparently no one was particularly impressed with the Ashton Kutcher version of the Apple co-founder ('B-' CinemaScore and 25% on Rotten Tomatoes), although the movie only cost $12M.

2 GUNS, THE SMURFS 2 and THE WOLVERINE round out the chart with some meager money, while THE CONJURING, GROWN UPS 2 and the smash DESPICABLE ME 2 (closing on $800M worldwide) got nudged out of the Top 10. And waaaay down in 13th place was the new tech thriller PARANOIA with just $3.5 million (a mere 1/10th of its budget). Looks like nobody had much interest in seeing AIR FORCE ONE rivals Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman clash once again (never mind checking out sexything Amber Heard and HUNGER GAMES hunk Liam Hemsworth).

Next weekend reunites Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright for the finale of their "Three Flavours Cornetto" THE WORLD'S END, plus the latest female-fronted young-adult fantasy adaptation THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES (on Wednesday) and the low-budget home-invasion horror flick YOU'RE NEXT.

Are you planning to check out THE WORLD'S END next weekend? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Butler $25 M
NEW
2. We're the Millers $17.7 M $69.5 M
3. Elysium $13.6 M $55.9 M
4. Kick-Ass 2 $13.5 M
NEW
5. Planes $13.1 M $45 M
6. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters $8.3 M $38.9 M
7. Jobs $6.7 M
NEW
8. 2 Guns $5.5 M $59.2 M
9. The Smurfs 2 $4.6 M $56.9 M
10. The Wolverine $4.4 M $120.4 M

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Source: Box Office Mojo

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