Box office: ‘The Butler’ continues to lead as ‘World’s End’ begins

This film image released by The Weinstein Company shows David Oyelowo in a scene from "Lee Daniels' The Butler."
(Anne Marie Fox / Associated Press)

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” continued its strong showing at the box office on Friday, taking in an estimated $4.7 million on its way to an expected second weekend atop the chart.

Starring Forest Whitaker as a White House employee who served under eight U.S. presidents, the Lee Daniels-directed film opened with $24.6 million last week, and is expected to earn in the vicinity of $12 million this weekend.

Among this week’s new movies, the Edgar Wright-directed comedy “The World’s End” opened ahead of the disappointing “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” on Friday with an estimated $3.4 million. Featuring a reunion of the team behind “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” that enjoyed a strong critical buzz, the apocalypse-themed British comedy will have already recouped its $20 million budget by the close of the weekend given its international earnings. The film was released overseas in July and has since taken in $16 million.

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By contrast, the $60 million “Mortal Instruments” appears unable to replicate the success of other movie franchises pulled from YA bookshelves such as “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games.” The five-book “Mortal Instruments” series sold 24 million copies, but earned only an estimated $3.1 million on Friday on half as many screens as “The World’s End.” The film has taken in a little more than $7 million thus far after opening on Wednesday.

Now entering its third weekend, the Jennifer Aniston- and Jason Sudeikis-led comedy “We’re the Millers” appears on track to hold in second place with an estimated $4 million in earnings on Friday. The horror film “You’re Next,” another film debuting this weekend, earned an estimated $2.9 million in its first day of release, enough to place it on track to round out the top five.


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Twitter: @chrisbarton