Weekend Box Office: ‘The Butler’ Dishes Out More Humble Pie

This wasn’t a very good weekend for new movies. All of the new releases were outgrossed by older carryovers. In first place, ‘The Butler’ added another $17 million to its haul, bringing it a ten-day total of $52.2 million. Even comedy ‘We’re the Millers’ earned another $13.5 million, pushing it only $8.3 million away from the $100 million mark.

Meanwhile, ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones‘ debuted in the #3 spot with a measly $9.3 million over the actual weekend. The film’s Wednesday debut gave it an unimpressive five-day total of $14 million. The teen franchise hopeful is hardly on its way to filling the void left by ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Twilight’. With this kind of start, we may not see any more of the ‘Mortal Instruments’ novels adapted to the big screen.

Edgar Wright’s third film in the unofficial “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy warranted the best domestic opening of the new releases. On just 1,549 screens, ‘The World’s End‘ pulled in $8.9 million. The apocalyptic comedy has already earned $16 million from overseas markets, several of which debuted the movie weeks ago. To give it some perspective, the per-screen average for ‘The World’s End’ was higher than any other film in the Top 10.

Lionsgate’s horror picture ‘You’re Next‘ failed to capitalize on the success of other recent scary titles. Opening in the #7 spot with $7 million, the home invasion thriller not only broke the genre’s upward trend, but featured the lowest opening for a widely released horror flick in 2013.

The wide expansion of Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine‘ proved to be a wise studio decision. Climbing to 1,200 screens, the Cate Blanchette vehicle rose into the Top 10, finishing the weekend in the #9 spot. Its impressive $4.3 million weekend pushed the film’s domestic haul up to $14.8 million.

Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘The Grandmaster‘ pulled in $132,300 from just seven screens, for a per-screen average of $18,900. The opening weekend numbers for ‘Drinking Buddies‘ have yet to be announced.

Top 10:

1. ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ (Weinstein) – $17,018,000

2. ‘We’re the Millers’ (Warner Bros.) – $13,500,000

3. ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ (Screen Gems) – $9,300,000

4. ‘The World’s End’ (Focus) – $8,942,000

5. ‘Planes’ (Buena Vista) – $8,567,000

6. ‘Elysium’ (Sony) – $7,100,000

7. ‘You’re Next’ (Lionsgate) – $7,050,000

8. ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ (Fox) – $5,200,000

9. ‘Blue Jasmine’ (Sony Pictures Classics) – $4,300,000

10. ‘Kick-Ass 2’ (Universal) – $4,270,000

1 comment

  1. William Henley

    I didn’t know much about Mortal Instruments going in, but went with a friend who wanted to see it. I had to keep asking if it was opening weekend. We were in a large screen theater at 7 PM on a Saturday. That auditorium is usually packed. Instead, there were about 20 people in there, and no one seemed all that impressed when we left.

    The movie was okay. I think it was better than the garbage they produced from the Twilight books. We enjoyed the movie, but I wouldn’t say it was great. My biggest issue was the sheer number of characters in it – with the exception of the three main characters, the rest of the characters are not well fleshed out or defined. The movie felt like, oh what’s a good example – I got one – Let’s says someone tried to cram all 7 Harry Potter books into a single movie, with the final battle at Hogwarts still being the same length. Through most of the movie, I didn’t even know what species some characters were. Thanks to either bad editing or a bad screenplay, the name Isabelle seems, in the last 20 minutes of the movie, to apply to like 3 different girls, two of which I don’t think we ever got their name before the end.

    What sucks is that there seems to be a good story buried in there somewhere, which is leading me to be interested in the books. But the movie just had huge issues. Granted, it was like the actors, director, and special effects artists did wonders with what they had, it just felt like the movie should have been two or three times longer to be able to get a grasp of what was going on (or rather, broken into two or three different movies).

    The movie got a horrible 13% on the Tomatometer, with an average rating of 3.9 out of 10, but the audience gave it a 74% with a 3.9 out of 5 (that’s rottentomatoes.com). Personally, if I were to score the movie, I am teetering between 2.5 and 3 out of 5.

    Anyways, yeah, I had a feeling that the numbers for this movie were going to be low. As I said, there was almost no one in that theater. This is the same theater and time slot that was packed out just a couple of months ago with teenage and preteen girls watching…. STAR TREK! Yeah, a 45 year old sci-fi franchise draws teenage girls, but a Vampire / Wearwolf / Shadowhunter teen love movie only attracts 20 people on opening weekend? This was either a huge marketing fail (I hadn’t heard of the movie before my friends said they wanted to go see it, and I think that was just because they looked at what was opening that weekend), or movie-goer fatigue that seems to have plaugued the movie industry this summer.

    What sucks is that, after this year, I feel that movie studios are going to panic, and pull back on big-budget movies. Too many just seemed to bomb this year.

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