Box Office Guru Wrapup: What Won the Weekend? The Butler Did It!

Summary

The annual late-summer funk hit the North American box office with only one of the frame's four new wide releases connecting with audiences. The potential Oscar contender Lee Daniels' The Butler surprised many with its number one opening grossing an estimated $25M. The PG-13 film averaged a strong $8,527 from 2,933 theaters and was the only wide release this weekend to gross more than $20M or generate an average above $6,000.

Back to Article

Comments

I fight for the users

Ian Fastert

Great, something good opened at 1 this weekend. If Jobs won, I might have killed myself.

Aug 18 - 05:21 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

carbon-monoxide poisoning is the best way . . . you just go to sleep; painless, easy "step over to the other side, quietly; sweet repose-- death is not a fearful thing, its living that's treacherous; death is your friend"

Aug 19 - 10:57 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Stop.

Aug 19 - 11:02 AM

Janet M.

Janet Maximus

I work at Home with Google. It's by-far the nicest job I have had. I've made $64,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. I've made such great money. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it. Here is what I do, Bling6.com

Aug 24 - 02:34 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Jobs seemed thrown together. He's only been dead since October 2011 (a year and a half or so ago)

Aug 19 - 10:58 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

There's a more serious film, based on Walter Isaacson's mammoth biography, that's also in the works. Kutcher's film was rushed to get ahead of it.

Aug 19 - 11:02 AM

Prince Niko

Prince Niko

Happy a Good film won this weekend. With an A Cinamascore The Butler will have a long Boxoffice run like 42 and The Help. Also happy Kick Ass 2 did way worse then expected. Something tells me Jim Carey is happy to.

Aug 18 - 05:28 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

I agree.

Aug 18 - 10:53 PM

Ash J. Gilmore

Ash J. Gilmore

Completely disagree.

Aug 19 - 05:51 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Butler took advantage of stellar reviews and solid awards buzz and also tapped into co-star Oprah Winfrey's massive fan base and promotional power."

Something tells me the latter is more accurate, as a 72% RT score is hardly "stellar" (compared to, say, "Fruitvale Station"'s 94%), but if it actually wins any awards, it will solely be due to Harvey's meat-squeezing (always his greatest talent).

Aug 18 - 05:58 PM

King  S.

King Simba

For a film debuting in August (which is typically dumping ground) 72% is really strong. Say what you want about Harvey, but that was really smart move shifting the release date from Octobor where it would have had to deal with a ton of other adult targetted films to August where for three months of one big budget spectacle after another the target audience for the Butler have been pretty much neglected.

Aug 19 - 02:08 AM

grouchyeditor.com

John Haakenson

72 percent is not "stellar," no matter what month it's released.

Aug 19 - 07:15 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

And the dissembling begins. From "stellar reviews" to "strong reviews for August dump" and "award-buzz" to "by October, there will obviously be better films to consider". Yes, smart for Harvey. Best BSer in town.

Aug 19 - 10:38 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

So happy that Kick Ass 2 got what it deserved.

Aug 18 - 06:29 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

It's the sequel that fans of the original didn't ask for x3

Aug 18 - 10:42 PM

Ash J. Gilmore

Ash J. Gilmore

Except for me I guess. I've been waiting for a Kick-Ass 2 for years and I was not disappointed.

Aug 19 - 05:51 AM

Daniel Irwin

Daniel Irwin

At least Matthew Vaughan smelled the coffee before anyone else did.

Aug 19 - 08:05 AM

Blondie

No Name

People only didn't see it because of the reviews, not the content of the reviews. " Not as good as the original? Doesn't matter if it's still good as a movie, let's give it a rotten anyway!!"

Aug 19 - 08:14 AM

Marc Cerone

Marc "Cerone" Chaudry

The Butler? Really? XD

Aug 18 - 06:46 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

Yep! ;)

Aug 18 - 10:42 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

Meh, I want to see The Butler, just 'cause, really. I guess so I can compare it unfavourably to the yet-to-be-released Twelve Years a Slave. Oprah winning an Oscar sounds like madness, but I guess I would be down with it, and I like Forest Whitaker, so yeah.

Aug 18 - 06:56 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Saw Elysium and Kick-Ass 2 this weekend. Thought Elysium was very good, we do not get many well done sci-fi films, and it was well above average. Could have used a little less shakey cam during the action scenes, but it was never used to the point of complete incoherence like many Hollywood action films employ it these days. It was also nice to see an action film where the violence packed a punch as opposed to the bloodless cartoon mayhem that is thrown around in cinema these days. My only real complaint was one most critics echoed, which was that Jodie Foster's accent was all over the place.

As for Kick Ass 2; it was decent, but by no means spectacular. Wadlow is nowhere near the same league as Vaughn in terms of the technical aspects of filmmaking or as an overall storyteller. I felt Carrey was a great addition, but his screen time was so miniscule it was almost irrelevant. Moretz definitely owned the movie, and the entire picture would pick up considerably every time she was on screen. I think I would have preferred a Hit-Girl stand alone film as opposed to a sequel to Kick Ass. Wadlow also lacks the same eye for action that Vaughn possesses. While there were several hilariously over the top action moments (mainly the highway scene showcased in the trailers and another involving Mother Russia), none of them are as thrilling as the scene in the first film where Hit-Girl saves Kick Ass and Big Daddy from their torturers or the original film's finale. Still, if you enjoyed the original, it is probably worth checking out just to see it wrap up the loose ends.

And holy crap! The Butler came out of NOWHERE. Don't underestimate Oprah, bitches.

Aug 18 - 06:59 PM

Chase Lehocky

Chase Lehocky

The Butler was not good in my opinion. The hitory was way off. They had Johnson be a sad man who supported the civil rights movement but in real life used the "n" word. How is this right? The writer of the butler wrote that HBO special Game Change and Recount...so you know it is going to be more left winged. I don't mind it just please read a damn book and stop rewrting the past differently. Oh and the casting was horrible except the two leads and the last ten minutes about voting for Obama...puke.

Aug 18 - 07:43 PM

Paul S.

Paul Smith

See the thing is Johnson did support the civil rights movement and he did use the "n" word, there is an abundance of evidence supporting both. Game Change producers had consultants that worked at the highest level in both campaigns. Steven Schmidt and Nicholle Wallace both highly touted republican strategist and both whom worked on the McCain and Palin campaign stated, "Ten weeks of the campaign are condensed into a two-hour movie. But it tells the truth of the campaign." and watching the film was tantamount to "an out-of-body experience." and the film was "true enough to make me squirm." So it is you who needs to pick up a book and read and also learn proper grammar.

Aug 19 - 08:24 AM

Francesco F.

Francesco Fortuna

I saw Kick-Ass 2, it was by no means great but how the fuck does We're The Millers have a better score? Who the hell is still going out to see it? I laughed way more during Kick-Ass 2 than I did with We're The Millers and I had a much better time. Ugh whatever, I'm really excited for next week though with The World's End and You're Next.

Aug 18 - 08:26 PM

Sir Phobos

Sir Phobos

Kick Ass 2 was pretty bad, and I was a fan of the first one. Pretty sure they rushed this sequel.

Aug 18 - 08:34 PM

Jacob Holmes

Jacob Holmes

3 years is plenty of time to make a sequel. It's just the nature of Kick Ass is very difficult to work on screen

Aug 18 - 10:36 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

The sad thing is, is that instead of Lionsgate, the sequel is distributed by Universal. And Universal has lost its golden touch ever since that horrible film-maker named Paul W.S. Anderson killed its brilliance with his Death Race remake. Jeff Wadlow himself could never recapture all of the magic that Vaughun and Goldman made with the first outing.

And the Golden Era from Universal was the best era that the studio was in. It was such a happy time.

1900-1911: Ancient Universal (Before the studio was founded)
1912-1913: The Early Years of Universal (Also the studio's early years of its Golden Age)
1914-2005: The Golden Era
January 2006 - March 2006: The Winding Down Period
April 21, 2006 - 8-21-2008: The Downhill Era
August 22, 2008: The Slaugter of Universal's Excellence by Paul Wussy Stinky-Pants Anderson and his terrible Death Race Remake (Yes, I hate Paul W.S. Anderson so much)
August 23, 2008 - Present: Complete and Utter Crap Era (Except for a couple of movies like the Despicable Me movies and Bridesmades, for example)

It's a shame that Universal is no longer the high-quality powerhouse it used to be anymore...I miss the good old days when that Universal used to produce and distribute quality theatrical movies like the original Jaws, the Universal Monsters series, and Peter Jackson's King Kong remake, to name a few. :(

Aug 18 - 10:40 PM

Sanza B.

Sanza Bear

Look, I can use imdb, that means I'm a film expert...

Aug 19 - 04:52 AM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

Okay. All right.

Aug 19 - 06:19 AM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

Oh, and one more thing. I'm happy that you enjoyed the first one. I may have to check it out. :D

Aug 18 - 10:41 PM

Ash J. Gilmore

Ash J. Gilmore

I really enjoyed it. It's definitely not as good as the first, but I still had a blast with it.

Aug 19 - 05:53 AM

The Juggernaut

The Juggernaut

So many flops this weekend! Jobs, Paranoia, and Kick-Ass 2. It's been a great year for flops.

Aug 18 - 09:06 PM

Jacob Holmes

Jacob Holmes

At least none of those movies were budgeted at $150+ million so it's not too bad if those underperform

Aug 18 - 10:34 PM

The Juggernaut

The Juggernaut

That's true. They're nothing in comparison to a belly flop like The Lone Ranger or Jack the Giant Slayer.

Aug 18 - 10:47 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

LOL FLIP-FLOPS XD

Aug 18 - 10:41 PM

Jacob Holmes

Jacob Holmes

At least none of those movies were budgeted at $150+ million so it's not too bad if those underperform

Aug 18 - 10:34 PM

The Juggernaut

The Juggernaut

That's true. They're nothing in comparison to a belly flop like The Lone Ranger or Jack the Giant Slayer.

Aug 18 - 10:47 PM

Jacob Holmes

Jacob Holmes

3 years is plenty of time to make a sequel. It's just the nature of Kick Ass is very difficult to work on screen

Aug 18 - 10:36 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

The sad thing is, is that instead of Lionsgate, the sequel is distributed by Universal. And Universal has lost its golden touch ever since that horrible film-maker named Paul W.S. Anderson killed its brilliance with his Death Race remake. Jeff Wadlow himself could never recapture all of the magic that Vaughun and Goldman made with the first outing.

And the Golden Era from Universal was the best era that the studio was in. It was such a happy time.

1900-1911: Ancient Universal (Before the studio was founded)
1912-1913: The Early Years of Universal (Also the studio's early years of its Golden Age)
1914-2005: The Golden Era
January 2006 - March 2006: The Winding Down Period
April 21, 2006 - 8-21-2008: The Downhill Era
August 22, 2008: The Slaugter of Universal's Excellence by Paul Wussy Stinky-Pants Anderson and his terrible Death Race Remake (Yes, I hate Paul W.S. Anderson so much)
August 23, 2008 - Present: Complete and Utter Crap Era (Except for a couple of movies like the Despicable Me movies and Bridesmades, for example)

It's a shame that Universal is no longer the high-quality powerhouse it used to be anymore...I miss the good old days when that Universal used to produce and distribute quality theatrical movies like the original Jaws, the Universal Monsters series, and Peter Jackson's King Kong remake, to name a few. :(

Aug 18 - 10:40 PM

Sanza B.

Sanza Bear

Look, I can use imdb, that means I'm a film expert...

Aug 19 - 04:52 AM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

Okay. All right.

Aug 19 - 06:19 AM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

Oh, and one more thing. I'm happy that you enjoyed the first one. I may have to check it out. :D

Aug 18 - 10:41 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

LOL FLIP-FLOPS XD

Aug 18 - 10:41 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

Yep! ;)

Aug 18 - 10:42 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

It's the sequel that fans of the original didn't ask for x3

Aug 18 - 10:42 PM

Ash J. Gilmore

Ash J. Gilmore

Except for me I guess. I've been waiting for a Kick-Ass 2 for years and I was not disappointed.

Aug 19 - 05:51 AM

Daniel Irwin

Daniel Irwin

At least Matthew Vaughan smelled the coffee before anyone else did.

Aug 19 - 08:05 AM

The Juggernaut

The Juggernaut

That's true. They're nothing in comparison to a belly flop like The Lone Ranger or Jack the Giant Slayer.

Aug 18 - 10:47 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

The fact that Kick-Ass 2 bombed in theaters just like Universal's R.I.P.D. is just further proof that Universal isn't making so many quality movies like it did in the past. And I'm at the same time, happy that Kick-Ass 2 bombed @ the box office. It got what it deserved.

Unfortunately, that makes me miss the good old days of Universal. I remember going to Universal Studios Hollywood twice at ages 12 and 13 years of age (I was still in my childhood at the time I went) in the final year of its Golden Age, in 2005.

The only good movies to come out of Universal in its Post-Death Race Remake era are the Despicable Me movies, Bridesmaids, Fast and Furious, and Ted, to name a few. So very sad. :'(

Aug 18 - 10:51 PM

The Juggernaut

The Juggernaut

Are those really the only good movies that have come out of Universal in the past 5 years?! That's sad. And not even those good movies you mentioned come close to their classics like Jaws and E.T.

Aug 18 - 11:02 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

I blame Paul W.S. Anderson for screwing up Universal with his Death Race remake and killing off its excellence back in 2008. There's a reason why everyone hates PWSA. ;)

The films I listed are a few of them. There are other gems from Universal during those times of $&@*.

Aug 19 - 06:18 AM

Esteban Martinez

Esteban Martinez

Why are you so invested in Universal? Do you own shares or something?

Aug 19 - 06:28 AM

What's Hot On RT

Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater

What are his Five Favorite Films?

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games

New Mockingjay teaser trailer

Emmys
Emmys

Full 2014 nominations list

Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes

Watch interviews with the cast

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile