Despite a number of new releases in theaters over the weekend, The Butler, a Lee Daniels film, topped all of them. The emotionally moving movie earned $25 million at the box office from Friday through Sunday.
For some movie analysts the win by The Butler was a big surprise. Many industry experts had predicted that Kick-Ass 2 the new summer superhero movie would whip its competition.
However, The Butler was triumphant amongst all newcomers and connected across the board with fans. In exit surveys, about 73% recommended the film, while it earned an approval rating of 81% amongst moviegoers.
The drama, starring Forest Whitaker, who worked as a butler for a number of presidents, also was helped from timing as similar types of dramas such as The Help, Eat Pray Love and Julie & Julia all earned over $20 million in debuts during August.
Kick-Ass 2, an adaptation of a famous comic book expected to fight for the weekend box office title, but could not muster more than $13.6 million placing it in a disappointing fourth place.
Analysts had predicted a minimum of $19.5 million for the first weekend, the same amount the original had when it opened in 2010. However, the film was hit hard by critics, with just 28% willing to give it a positive rating.
We’re the Millers a comedy starring Jennifer Aniston was the No. 2 movie for the weekend for the second consecutive weekend. The movie this weekend earned $17.8 million and was followed by Elysium, the sci-fi flick with $13.6 million in third place.
Planes, an animated film by Disney took the fifth spot earning $13.1 million.
Two other newcomers over the weekend did little to impact theaters. Jobs and Paranoia did not impress. Jobs, the movie about Steven Jobs the co-founder of Apple earned $6.7 million for seventh place, while Harrison Ford’s corporate thriller Paranoia earned only $3.5 million and was out of the top ten.