August 19, 2013 by Vinnie Leduc
Another set of four new major releases hit theaters over the weekend, but the results were vastly different from the previous weekend’s, when Elysium and We’re the Millers led the way to the top of the domestic box office. That pair of holdovers was beaten by only one of the four new releases, Lee Daniels’ The Butler. With a multi-Oscar-nominated director and an ensemble cast headlined by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker and ultra-powerful Oscar nominee Oprah Winfrey, the historical drama is following in the footsteps of another civil rights movie, 2011’s The Help, by exceeding commercial expectations and generating its own Oscar buzz and critical acclaim.
Maintaining the runner-up spot was We’re the Millers with only a 33% drop in its sophomore weekend, the strongest hold for any major release this summer. This allowed the comedy about a drug-smuggling fake family to leapfrog reigning champ Elysium, which settled for third place this time. Falling one spot to fourth place was holdover Planes, Disney’s computer-animated spin-off to Pixar’s Cars.
Action comedy superhero sequel Kick-Ass 2, one of our most anticipated movies of the year, matched neither the commercial nor critical success that the original comic adaptation enjoyed. Its $13.3 million opening take trailed the original’s by $6.5 million and was only good enough to round out the top five.
Biopic Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher as the late tech innovator, suffered an un-Apple-like opening as it flopped into seventh place. However, it didn’t bomb as badly as Liam Hemsworth tech thriller Paranoia, which also starred Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, and Amber Heard. The $35 million production grossed only $3.5 million in its debut, which was way out of the top ten at 13th place and the lowest for any movie this summer.
Meanwhile overseas, China continued to breathe life into any hope for a Pacific Rim sequel as Guillermo Del Toro’s mechs-vs.-monsters mash became Warner Bros.’ highest grossing movie ever in China, where it’s even made more money than here in the States. The $190 million production is still inching towards the $100 million mark stateside, but it’s made nearly an additional $300 million in international markets.
The upcoming weekend introduces a trio of new wide releases. Young adult fantasy adaptation The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hits theaters early on Wednesday, while British sci-fi comedy The World’s End and horror flick You’re Next arrive on Friday.
Here are the numbers for the top five over the weekend via BOM:
- Lee Daniels’ The Butler — Weekend Gross: $24.6 million — Total Gross: $24.6 million (new)
- We’re the Millers — Weekend Gross: $18.0 million — Total Gross: $70.0 million (#2 last week)
- Elysium — Weekend Gross: $13.7 million — Total Gross: $56.0 million (#1 last week)
- Planes — Weekend Gross: $13.4 million — Total Gross: $45.3 million (#3 last week)
- Kick-Ass 2 — Weekend Gross: $13.3 million — Total Gross: $13.3 million (new)