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Box Office Report For 8-19: The Butler Did It!

If there’s one thing these summer films have taught me, it’s that there’s no such thing as a guaranteed number 1 movie. Despite Kick-Ass 2 and Paranoia being promoted heavily, and having huge stars at their helm, it was Lee Daniels’ The Butler that took in the number 1 spot this week, raking in 24.6 million.

The film about a former White House butler (played by Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)) retelling stories and memories about his time serving eight former presidents has received mostly positive reviews from fans and critics alike and is yet another shocking/non blockbuster-esque type of film to receive the number 1 spot for at least one week this summer.

The film features a great supporting cast including Oprah Winfrey (it’s Oprah, turn on a TV), Robin Williams (Death To Smoochy), Terrance Howard (Iron Man), and Cuba Gooding Jr (Jerry Maguire).

We’re The Millers finished in second for the second consecutive week bringing in nearly another 18 million in sales. It seems as if pg-13 and R rated comedies are the only sure fire hits this summer. With 5 of the top 25 highest grossing films this year (The Heat, Identity Thief, This Is The End, Hangover 3, and Grown Ups 2) only time will tell if The Millers can achieve the same success.

After two weeks the film has made nearly 70 million domestically, odds seem to be in their favor.

Last week’s #1 film Elysium dropped to third this week with 13.6. I said last week that the sci-fi epic could have legs during the month of August due to the lack of competition, but with numbers like this on it’s second weekend, a moderate worldwide figure at 37.7 million, and a budget at over 115 million dollars. Things aren’t looking too good for Matt Damon and director Neill Blomkamp.

Newcomer Kick-Ass 2 underperformed this weekend, only bringing in 13.3 million. The sequel to the 2010 film about comic book geeks donning superhero costumes and fighting crime, came in with worse numbers than the original did it’s opening week (Kick-Ass opened with 19 million and was #1 for the week). While the first film is considered a “cult classic”, it still marketed itself to a very specific niche of an audience.

However, the budget for the film was only 28 million, so even with debuting at 13.3, it’s not a bad loss for the studio although it will probably mark the end of the Kick-Ass franchise.

Jobs, the biopic starring Aston Kutcher (Punk’d) about the life of Steve Jobs (Apple corporation) brought in 6.7 its first week in wide release. The film has been slandered by many critics (mostly due to Kutcher’s acting), however it also has been praised for telling a pretty good following of Steve Job’s life.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 are the usual suspects (sans Despicable Me 2 and The Conjuring which dropped off the top 10 this week). Planes came in at 4th place with 13.3 million, bringing it’s total to 45.3 million domestically. Not bad for a film that was supposed to be a direct to DVD release. Harry Percy Potter Jackson came in with another 8.7 million this week.

Finally, Two Guns, The Smurfs 2, and The Wolverine finish out the top 10. While newcomer Paranoia (Starring Harrison Ford (INDIANA JONES!), Gary Oldman (Tiptoes– seriously you tube it. Best Oldman movie of all time) , and Liam Hemsworth (Expendables 2) missed the top 10 completely. I guess that’s what you get when you reveal the entire movie in your trailer.

Next week’s new releases feature the conclusion to the “Cornetto Trilogy The Worlds End, a movie about a group of friends going bar hopping and encountering an invasion of some kind. It stars Simon Pegg (Star Trek), Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz), and is directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz). The Moral Instruments: City of Bones, which I’ve only heard of this past weekend and have caught at least a bajillion commercials for it since then.

The film’s about a hot girl with magical powers, who encounters a hot guy with magical powers who must protect her, and they do magical things to magical evil people and save the world from the Lucky Charms Leprechaun. I know that’s not what the plot is (it’s based on a book series) but frankly if they incorporated the leprechaun, it would make for a better movie.

Finally, there’s You’re Next, A horror film about a family being hunted down by deranged psychos in animal masks. Looks like a combination of The Strangers and The Purge, which means it has potential to be good. What will be #1 next week, my hope is The Worlds End, but puttin the odds on You’re Next to take it.


1- Lee Daniels’ The Butler 24.6 M 24.6 M

2- We’re The Millers 17.9 M 69.6 M

3- Elysium 13.6 M 56 M

4- Planes 13.38 M 45.3 M

5- Kick- Ass 2 13.33 M 13.3 M

6- Percy Jackson 2 8.7 M 39.2 M

7- Jobs 6.7 M 6.7 M

8- Two Guns 5.8 M 59.4 M

9- The Smurfs 2 4.7 M 57 M

10- The Wolverine 4.5 M 120.5 M

Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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