We’re officially nearing the end of the summer. The effects guys are packing up their laptops, comic books are returning to the shelves and the adults are coming out to play. In what’s been an effects heavy ‘dudebro’ action extravaganza of a season, August is winding down for afternoon tea with THE BUTLER.
After originally being penciled in for an October release, the Almighty-Champion-of-the-Film-Universe The Weinstein Company pulled this year’s resident civil rights weeper forward to August to the relief of every demographic that isn’t overtly male or young. And it’s paid off, taking a comfortable 1st place with $25 million, putting it on par with compatriot THE HELP ($26 million, August 2011) and slightly ahead of fellow adult fodder EAT, PRAY, LOVE and JULIE AND JULIA during their respective releases.
It's excellent scheduling, shrewd marketing and the incessant trumpeting of Oprah Winfrey, along with a strong A CinemaScore, should allow the film to continue to perform for a few weeks. $100 million is definitely in range.
Staying strong in 2nd, with a healthy drop of just 33% on last week for $17.8 million, gyrates WE’RE THE MILLERS. The Jennifer Aniston flick is holding on stronger than fellow summer comedies THIS IS THE END and THE HEAT and should finish comfortably north of $100 million.
In less jolly news, ELYSIUM continued to have a dour time of it after dropping to 3rd. With a 55% decrease and a $13.6 million weekend pick-up, it’s grossed $55.9 million through 10 days, putting it $17 million behind DISTRICT 9 and without out a hope to breach $100 million.
Only just behind in 4th place with $13.57 million stands comic book sequel KICK-ASS 2, putting it a fair flip behind its predecessor’s $19.8 million opening. KICK-ASS was widely considered an ‘underappreciated treat’ during its cinema run, despite a good marketing turn by Lionsgate and a decently profitable gross of $48 million, and there was an expectation for greater returns on its sequel.
Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that. An indistinguishable marketing campaign partnered with an ambiguous B+ CinemaScore and an absolute drubbing from the critics (with a miserable 28% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes) have slumped the film kicking and screaming in the murky waters of ‘disappointing.’ Though audience responses seem to be considerably more positive. If KICK-ASS 2 follows suit and plummets in its second week like its older brother, it’ll wind up just over $30 million and therefore barely profitable. So… not entirely bad all things considered.
Rounding out the Top 5 is Disney’s PLANES, picking up a healthy $13.1 million for a $45.1 million gross with PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS following in 6th with $8.4 million. After 2 weeks on release its picked up $38.9 million, meaning it’ll definitely fall far short of its forbearer’s $88.8 million at the domestic box office, though International earnings should help beef it up.
On the new releases front it’s been a comically appalling week for Ashton Kutcher and Harrison Ford who’ve both suffered one of their lowest ever openings. With a metric ton of scathingly bad reviews, a miscast lead and generally mismanaged existence from top-to-toe, JOBS – the Steve Jobs biopic –lurched drunkenly into 7th place with $6.7 million. A poor B- CinemaScore suggests it won’t be sticking around too long either.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK this is not.
The ‘Loser of the Week’ award goes to thriller PARANOIA however. After opening into 13th with just $3.5 million it marks Relativity Media’s newest stink on the carpet floor in what’s been an overwhelmingly odorous year for the company. With little-to-no advertising, a further bevvy of terrible reviews and a CinemaScore of C+ it’ll go the way of the dodo sooner rather than later.
Likely to the relief of Harrison Ford for whom the film marks his worst ever nationwide release. Here’s hoping STAR WARS can revitalize the elderly rogue.
Domestic Top 10
1. Lee Daniel’s The Butler
2. We’re the Millers
4. Kick-Ass 2
6. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
8. 2 Guns
9. The Smurfs 2
10. The Wolverine
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