Weekend Box Office: You Got Served… by ‘The Butler’!

Of this weekend’s four wide releases, only one walked away a success. One of the other three did all right, but the others flopped hard.

Precious‘ filmmaker Lee Daniels is back on top after last year’s dud ‘The Paperboy‘. ‘The Butler‘ opened to an awesome $25 million from 2,900 screens. Some early MPAA controversy is partially given credit for the successful debut of this small $30 million film. The rest of the success is accredited to the movie itself. Test screenings resulted in rave feedback.

We’re the Millers‘ had a very strong second week, only slipping 32% in attendance. The comedy earned another $17.7 million, bringing its ten-day total up to $69.5 million. Meanwhile, ‘Elysium‘ didn’t hold over nearly as well. The sci-fi flick slipped 54% to $13.6 million. That brings it to $55.9 million over ten days.

Now distributed by Universal, ‘Kick-Ass 2‘ underperformed. Estimated to debut around the $18 million mark, the sequel only pulled in $13.5 million. In 2010, the sleeper hit original ‘Kick-Ass‘ opened to $19.8 million, so this comes as a tough blow. Unfortunately, since it’s an unquestionably lesser sequel, I don’t imagine that it will hold over very well next weekend.

The Top 5 was rounded out by Disney’s ‘Planes‘, nose-diving 40%.

Debuting in the #7 spot was the Steve Jobs bio-pic ‘Jobs‘, with a weak $6.7 million. But that wasn’t the worst opening of the weekend.

Harrison Ford doesn’t make ’em like he used to. I don’t know what he was paid to co-star in ‘ Paranoia‘, but I doubt that its opening weekend was high enough to pay that salary. On nearly 2,500 screens, the corporate thriller opened in the #13 spot with only $3.5 million. Do you think we’ll see Liam Hemsworth cast in a leading role again?

Despite the trend of nationwide failures, this weekend’s limited releases had very strong openings. Jerusha Hess’ ‘Austenland‘ earned $42,600 from just four screens, giving it a per-screen average of $10,650. That’s actually the second-best of the weekend. The Western ‘Ain’t The Bodies Saints‘ opened just behind it with $28,800 from three screens, a per-screen average of $9,600.

Top 10:

‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ (Weinstein) – $25,010,000

‘We’re the Millers’ (Warner Bros.) – $17,780,000

‘Elysium’ (Sony) – $13,600,000

‘Kick-Ass 2’ (Universal) – $13,568,000

‘Planes’ (Buena Vista) – $13,141,000

‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ (Fox) – $8,375,000

‘Jobs’ (Open Road) – $6,700,000

‘2 Guns’ (Universal) – $5,572,000

‘The Smurfs 2’ (Sony) – $4,600,000

‘The Wolverine’ (Fox) – $4,425,000


  1. Kevin

    That’s unfortunate, but not unsurprising, about “Kick-Ass 2”. I wasn’t really feeling it from the ads, but was hoping it might be better than what those suggested.

    I just have to laugh at the poor performance of “Jobs”. How anyone thought a biopic about Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher was a good idea is beyond me. To this day, every time I see him in something, he comes across exactly the same as when he was on “That ’70s Show”.

  2. Universal can’t be TOO unhappy with Kick-Ass 2, since it only cost about $28 million to make – they’ll more than make their money back on this one.

    Haven’t seen The Butler yet, but I’m hoping it doesn’t take any awards potential away from 42 as I think when it comes to the topic of race relations, the Jackie Robinson story is far more important than a fictional butler (although it’s partially based on the real-life Eugene Allen).

    • I didn’t think it was even possible for Hollywood to make a movie for less than $100 million anymore. Even with a modest production budget, I’m sure that Universal spent way more than $30 million on advertising and promotion. With an expected 40-50% drop-off next week, the movie will still have trouble breaking even unless it does really well overseas.

      After the failures of Serenity, Hellboy II and now this, Universal’s going to have to think twice about picking up any more cast-off properties from other studios.

      • Timcharger

        I’m a fan of those films Serenity, Hellboy 2, KA1 (haven’t seen KA2, yet).

        Universal’s “rebound” dept appeals to me; good taste in rejects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *