Box Office: ‘Butler’ Delivers in Soph Sesh As Newcomers Fail to Break $10 Mil

The Butler Forest Whitaker

'World's End,' 'Mortal Instruments' toe-to-toe for third

Three new entries this weekend can’t upset “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” The Weinstein Co.’s biopic will take first place in its soph sesh, headed to about $16 million, and even Warner Bros.’ “We’re the Millers” will stay in second with about $13 million.

This leaves a crowd of newcomers to fight for third and below, none of which looks as though it will break $10 million in three days.

Neck-and-neck, the leads for bronze are Focus Features’ “The World’s End” and Sony-Screen Gems’ “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” which earned about $3.5 million and $3.1 million Friday, respectively. Both films are looking at a three-day around $9 million, so it looks as though it’ll be the former’s word of mouth versus the latter’s franchise fervor (based on a beloved teen lit book series, but eviscerated by critics) as to which wins.

“Mortal Instruments” bowed early on Wednesday to get a leg up on the crowded weekend and target a segment of young adult girls who are still on summer break. It is expected to make between $13.3 million and $13.8 million in five days in release.

Lionsgate’s “You’re Next,” which received some pre-weekend optimism given the performance of recent scarers and thrillers, opened a hair behind “Mortal Instruments” with $3 million Friday. Unfortunately, given the three-day trajectories of horror films, the thin gap is expected to widen with “You’re Next” earning between $7.5 million and $8 million this frame, behind Disney’s “Planes” for fifth.

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  1. ted says:

    Number one means little today in a field of losers. The Butler is very troubling in its rewrite of history, poor writing, hilarious casting, use of a female traitor during the Vietnam war, and its same-old racial saw of the poor black man and mean Whitey.

    • Nate Jones says:

      Wish I could argue with ted. When the Hollywood Reporter asked the filmmakers to comment on their awful portrayal of Reagan—the fact that they misrepresented him simply because he was a Republican–they were completely silent. This film will be successful, but it could have been as great as ‘Forrest Gump.’ Unfortunately it won’t be, simply because Daniels preferred to “juice up” history. There’s a reason why the main character is named DIFFERENTLY than the real man who served 8 Presidents. All the horrible things that the film depicts happening to him in the beginning NEVER happened to him. They’d rather make him an allegory for the black experience rather than be truthful. Opportunity LOST.

  2. Spinning THE BUTLER based on weak showing by new releases during the former’s second weekend is factually correct, but the box office drop and cumulative tally are indicative of those who know of its opening weekend success but less than impressed with the word-of-mouth.

    If by Monday morning the film is the B.O. leader, that’ll be quite evident, but moviegoers will look at the figures and readily distinguish this “truth” from the reality.

    The way Variety is spinning this thing sounds like a flack shilling for the studio or filmmaker. It’s never good form (when it’s so obvious) even if this is what you do for a living.

  3. Julienne says:

    Less than half of the first weekend. A 50% drop is not good, I don’t care how you spin-it.

    Modern patriots that see Lee creating and promoting racism by “Making-Up” the white-on-black rape & murders” in the movie, THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN IN THE TRUE STORY…sees right through Lee’s lies.

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