‘The Butler’ Cleans Up With Estimated $27 Million Weekend; ‘Kick Ass 2’ Stumbles

'The Butler' Cleaning Up With $27

Weinstein drama on track for $9.5 million Friday

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is cleaning up at the late summer box office with an estimated $27 million weekend, making it the first No. 1 film for Oprah Winfrey in nearly 30 years.

According to early ticket sales, “The Butler” was well on track for $9.5 million Friday, nearly doubling The Weinstein Company’s expectations for the film.

“It’s playing much better than we thought it would,” one TWC insider said.

Winfrey’s last No. 1 film was the 1986 Oscar-nominated drama “The Color Purple.”

“The Butler,” based on the true story of longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, co-stars Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker and cost nearly $28 million to produce.

Universal’s similarly low-budget “Kick-Ass 2” saw its fanboy frenzy wane late Friday, lowering weekend estimates to $16 million, down 20% from the original film’s debut of $19.8 million.

Starring Chloe Moretz and Jim Carrey, “Kick-Ass 2” earned $1.3 million Thursday night but the sequel is riding a not-so-super 28% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.

Also bowing wide this weekend, Open Road’s Steve Jobs biopic “Jobs” and Relativity Media’s thriller “Paranoia.” Both films should debut to mid seven-figures.

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  1. Actually I heard that comment as well. The question is will that deter me not to go see the Lee Daniels ” The Butler” not at all. Their are a lot people with opinions about many things. Ronald Reagan was not perfect what the Iran and Contra affair and General Oliver North. What about that. The bottom line is this I will go see this movie actually more than once be honest be with you. It really does not matter what people may think about this movie only you can make hypothesis once you see it.

  2. mia says:

    I was planning on seeing the butler tomorrow night but early this evening I read that ‘the Butler’ slammed and/or criticized President Reagan, and that some of the scenes could amount to a ‘Hollywood Malpractice?’ Is there any truth to this? I will still go and check it out myself but I was curious to know the opinion of those who have already gone.. is it true?? tks!

  3. Roger says:

    Don’t be surprised if The Butler does much better than the 27million dollar prediction. I saw it with a sellout crowd last night. Surprisingly to me, 95% of the +350 people in the stadium were white. I would have thought there would have been a greater turnout of African-Americans. Maybe tonight when I take my parents to see it, it will be different. Regardless, it is the best drama I’ve seen this year and truly Oscar worthy. Oprah and Forrest Whittaker should get nominations if not wins. Otherwise at the box office, all the other new releases behind The Butler bombed as expected and last week’s top films cratered like a cake pulled from the oven too soon.

  4. Valley Girl says:

    The Butler is one of the best movies I’ve seen in over 25 years. The actors were perfect in their roles.
    It was a history lesson on the big screen and I appreciated the angles taught that were not taught in school. It is a powerful movie I plan to see at least three times.

    You must see this movie THIS weekend.

  5. Tim says:

    Get your facts straight. It is going to make $30 million for the weekend, not $27.

  6. nhsuvyvd says:

    Did I oversleep by three days? The weekend hasn’t begun, so how can Variety post the box office totals on a Friday afternoon? This is ridiculous.

    • stephanie says:

      People purchase tickets in advance.

      • Michael Anthony says:

        Nhsuvyvd: There are tracking firms that just don’t pick $ amounts out if the sky. Its based on multiple algorithms that predict box office results. And their predictions are usually fairly accurate. Its not dishonest and its not lacking in integrity. All sorts of companies use firms like this to predict everything from how many items they may sell in a given week, like books, music, airline tickets or the hottest trends in clothes.

      • nhsuvyvd says:

        This fluff piece is not about advance purchase figures. The figure is a statistical estimate based on earl shows. You can predict it. But to report this on a Friday as fact is dishonest and without integrity.

  7. Kenmandu says:

    “Kick Ass 2” an unnecessary evil…

  8. Rick Leathem says:

    The Color Purple didn’t win any Oscars. Famously nominated for 11 without winning any.

    • stephanie says:

      Whoopi Goldberg won for her portrayal. Regardless, Oprah sells and I’m making it an outing. It’s good to have diversity in films and there are many African Americans that have acting skills with many being formally educated. All groups have stories to tell and those over the marketing target age have money to spend and the weekend results will reflect that. Get with the program movie industry.

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