Marking a victory for Lee Daniels and his high-profile cast, The Butler won the Friday box office with an estimated $8.3 million as it raced ahead of three other new films — Kick-Ass 2, Jobs and corporate thriller Paranoia.
The Weinstein Co.’s The Butler, returning Oprah to the big screen after a lengthy absence, is headed for a $24 million-plus weekend after nabbing stellar reviews and an A CinemaScore. The movie tells the true story of Eugene Allen (Forest Whitaker), a butler who served in the White House through eight presidential administrations. Oprah plays Allen’s wife.
Heading into the weekend, most thought Universal’s Kick-Ass 2 would win the weekend with a $20 million-plus debut because of younger fanboy moviegoers. The sequel, however, is lagging, grossing an estimated $5.8 million on Friday for a projected $15 million-plus weekend. That could put it No. 3 behind The Butler and We’re the Millers.
Kick-Ass 2, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jim Carrey, won’t match the success of the original Kick-Ass, which debuted to just under $40 million in spring 2010. The sequel, rebuffed by most critics, received a B+ CinemaScore.
Jobs, the independently produced Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher, and the corporate thriller Paranoia are faring even worse according to Hollywood reporter.
Made for under $15 million, Jobs took in an estimated $2.6 million on Friday for a projected $7.5 million to $8 million weekend, putting it at No. 6 or No. 7. The Open Road release was produced and financed by Five Star Films, with Endgame Entertainment partnering on the marketing. Jobs’ performance is likely hurt by dismal reviews and a B- CinemaScore (Sony and Aaron Sorkin have their own Steve Jobs film in the works).
Did anyone go to see The Butler?