“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is serving up success at the box office.
Starring Forest Whitaker as a longtime White House butler and Oprah Winfrey as his boozy wife, the Weinstein Co. biopic debuted in the top spot with $25 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. But the weekend’s three other major new releases, including the action romp “Kick-Ass 2,” failed to find traction with fans.
“We expected to do well, but we didn’t expect to do this well,” said Erik Lomis, president of distribution and home entertainment for Weinstein Co., adding that “The Butler” is the company’s first No. 1 debut since 2009’s “Inglourious Basterds.”
Even with a full slate of newcomers, last week’s top movies claimed the second and third spots in the box-office race. The Jason Sudeikis-Jennifer Aniston Warner Bros. comedy, “We’re the Millers,” held onto second place in its second week of release with $17.78 million, while last week’s No. 1, Sony’s “Elysium,” dropped to third with $13.6 million.
“It was tough if you were any other film opening other than ‘The Butler,'” said Paul Dergarabedian of box-office tracker Hollywood.com.0