August 25, 2013

EARLY WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: “The Butler” Stays In Charge


If preliminary weekend numbers at Deadline hold, THE WORLD’S END (Focus/Universal) will be a bit more frontloaded than it would have liked, slipping 10% from Friday to Saturday for $3.1M on its second day, and a bit behind THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES (Screen Gems/Sony) for the title of weekend’s biggest opening, with Mortal Instruments earning $9M and World’s End at $8.5M.  Less surprisingly, YOU’RE NEXT (Lionsgate) also fell 10% on Saturday to $2.6M, for a $7.5M weekend. (Mortal Instruments rose 20% Friday-to-Saturday to $3.7M, but since it had been playing since Wednesday, the day-to-day dynamics are somewhat different.)  It’s worth remembering, though, that World’s End is in only half as many theatres as Mortal Instruments (and 60% of those housing You’re Next), so on a per-theatre average basis, World’s End is well in front; also, World’s End will be considerably ahead of the previous Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost collaborations Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, which opened respectively with $3.3M and $5.8M.  For its part, Mortal Instruments at least looks better than the $7.6M start for Beautiful Creatures, so there’s that.

All of the newcomers, though, are behind reigning holdovers THE BUTLER (Weinstein) and WE’RE THE MILLERS (Warners).  Butler is headed for a $15-16M 2d weekend, an excellent drop of less than 40% that gives it $50M so far with plenty more to come.  (It’s not in a league, with The Help, though, which shrank a tiny 23% in its second weekend.)   Millers continues to hold splendidly, down less than 30% in its 3rd weekend to $12-13M, which puts its total over $90M, with a real shot of catching The Hangover III‘s $112M.

Woody Allen’s BLUE JASMINE (Sony Pictures Classics), in its first weekend of fairly wide release (1283 theatres), may get to $4M for the weekend.  That compares with the $5.8M that Midnight In Paris made when it was in 300 fewer theatres, and it’s also below the first wide weekends of Moonrise Kingdom ($4.9M in 400 fewer theatres) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($6.4M).


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."