box office

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE—THE BUTLER DID IT: That’s the headline du jour on this late-summer Monday morning, as Lee Daniels’ The Butler (that’s the full title, folks) debuted on top with $25 million. The weekend’s only other major opening, Kick Ass 2, did anything but, coming in at #4 behind second-week entries We’re the Millers and Elysium. The Matt Damon-starring sci-fi/action flick, written and directed by District Nine’s Neill Blomkamp, is visually stunning and as fast-paced as the Bourne series; why it failed to generate sufficient buzz to turn it into a hit is a real head scratcher to us. But then, that was also the case with the similarly breathtaking World War Z. Guess there’s no accounting for taste…

1. Lee Daniels' The Butler (Weinstein) – $25m, 2,933/$8,527 average (debut)
2. We're the Millers (WB) – $17.8m (-32.7%), 3,325/$5,347 average (week 2)
3. Elysium (TriStar) – $13.6m (-54.4%), 3,284/$4,141 average (week 2)
4. Kick-Ass 2 (Uni) – (week 2) $13.57m 2,940/$4,615 average (debut)
5. Planes (Disney) – $13,141,000 (-40.9%) 3,716/$3,536 average (week 2)

The Ashton Kutcher-starring biopic Jobs had an abysmal opening, coming in at #7 with a paltry $6.7m. It’s telling that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak turned down an offer to consult on the movie, saying he was “turned off” by the script; he went so far as to pan it Friday on Gizmodo. Wozniak is a consultant on a rival Sony production that’s being adapted by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) from Walter Isaacson's biography. And Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, which averaged $10.3k on 229 screens, goes nationwide this weekend. (8/19a)

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