Box Office Results: The Butler, The Millers and Everything Else


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

We discuss it every year and yet there’s always one or two people who are surprised or dubious of the “Dog Days of Summer,” the point in August where few movies, let alone new movies, are able to bring in more than $15 million at the box office. Despite many pleas by movie writers that people go out to see this weekend’s offerings, which included a number of fan favorites, the summer box office continued to drop as schools started and people started winding down their summer with other activities.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler (The Weinstein Company), starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and an impressive ensemble cast, remained atop the box office with $17 million in its second weekend, a strong 69% hold from its opening weekend as it brought its gross to $52.3 million. The independently-financed movie that took five years to get made and experienced issues when its title was put into question in a lawsuit looks to be another solid hit for The Weinstein Company who will likely ride the film’s box office success all the way to Oscar night as they have with past films.

For a third weekend in a row, the R-rated road comedy We’re the Millers (New Line/WB), starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis, retained second place, a milestone that’s often unheard of even during the slower month of August. It brought in an additional $13.5 million this weekend, down just 25% last week, and it’s well on its way to cross $100 million by Labor Day with $91 million grossed thus far.

After opening on Wednesday and grossing $4.7 million in its first two days, Screen Gems’ adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, starring Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, brought in $9.3 million over the weekend to take third place with $14.1 million grossed in its first five days.

Director Edgar Wright reunited with his long-time collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for the third chapter in their “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy,” The World’s End, which was released into 1,548 theaters on Friday–more than either of the previous installments Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead. It grossed $8.9 million over the weekend or $5,620 per location, which was the best per-theater average in the Top 10, to take fourth place. That was a stronger opening than Hot Fuzz, which opened with $5.8 million in 825 theaters back in April 2007, although that also expanded into 400 more theaters in its second weekend. There’s no word whether Focus plans on capitalizing on the film’s buzz to expand over Labor Day weekend.

Disney’s Planes dropped to fifth place in its third weekend where it held well with $8.5 million added to its total take of $59.5 million.

Sixth place went to Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi action flick Elysium (Sony), starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, with $7.1 million earned and $69.1 million since opening earlier this month. It also grossed another $20 million internationally this weekend which brought its global gross to $139 million.

The second low-budget home invasion horror flick of the summer, You’re Next by filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett (VHS) and starring Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Barbara Crampton and fellow filmmakers Ti West and Joe Swanberg, finally opened theatrically in 2,437 theaters nearly two years after its Toronto Film Festival “Midnight Madness” debut. Despite rave reviews and internet buzz, it brought in roughly $7 million for seventh place, averaging $4,200 per theater.

The fantasy sequel Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (20th Century Fox) took eighth place with $5.2 million with a total gross of $48.3 million.

About a month after platforming in New York and Los Angeles, Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins and more, expanded nationwide into 1,237 theaters, the widest release ever for the Oscar-winning veteran. It moved into the Top 10 at position #9 with $4.3 million, a per-theater average of $4,850, with a running total of $14.8 million. That wasn’t nearly as strong as Allen’s 2011 offering Midnight in Paris, which grossed $5.8 million when it expanded into 944 theaters putting it at $13.9 million on its way to $56.8 million.

After a weak debut, the comic book action sequel Kick-Ass 2 (Universal) took in $4.3 million in its second weekend, a steep 68% drop from its opening weekend that knocked it all the way down to #10 with $22.4 million grossed so far.

The Top 10 grossed about $85.2 million, which was up about $9 million from last year when none of the new movie were able to open in the Top 5 with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s biker action movie Premium Rush and Dax Shepard’s action-comedy Hit and Run both failing to best the Tea Party doc 2016: Obama’s America, which opened with $6.5 million.

As far as the global box office, Universal Pictures’ mega-blockbuster Despicable Me 2 crossed the $800 million mark globally this weekend as it brought its total gross to $805.8 million.

As far as limited releases, Wong Kar Wai’s martial arts flick The Grandmaster (The Weinstein Company), starring Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi, opened in 7 theaters in select theaters, taking in $132 thousand or about $19 thousand per theater. The Weinstein Company plans to expand it wider on Friday.

After winning the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s South by SouthWest Film Festival, Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12 (Cinedigm), starring Brie Larson, opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles where it brought in roughly $60 thousand or $15 thousand per screen.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.