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

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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