Oprah Winfrey doesn’t lend her name to just any project, but when she does, you can be sure that people will take notice. Her latest effort — and first film in over a decade — Lee Daniels’ The Butler, proved extra appealing to ticket buyers. The period drama, which also stars Forest Whitaker and Terrence Howard, served up $8.3 million on its first Friday, which puts it on pace for a $25 million weekend and an easy first place finish.
The rest of the weekend’s newcomers didn’t fare nearly as well. In second place, Kick-Ass 2 took in $5.5 million, a substantial decrease from 2010’s Kick-Ass, which earned $7.5 million on Friday en route to a $19.8 million weekend. Kick-Ass 2 may have to settle for a mere $14 million frame. But at least it performed better than Jobs, which struggled with $2.6 million, and Paranoia, which bombed with only $1.3 million on its first day.
Among holdovers, We’re the Millers continued to flex its box office muscle. The Jason Sudeikis/Jennifer Aniston comedy dipped just 36 percent to $5.4 million, and it should surpass Kick-Ass by Sunday night with about $17 million, which will bring its total to $69 million after two weekends. Elysium, meanwhile, fell 65 percent from last Friday to $3.9 million and should earn about $12 million in its second frame for a $54 million total. Disney’s Planes rounded out the Top 5 with $3.6 million, and it may take in about $12.5 million (for a $48 million total) in its second flight.
1. Lee Daniels’ The Butler – $8.3 million
2. Kick-Ass 2 – $5.5 million
3. We’re The Millers – $5.4 million
4. Elysium – $3.9 million
5. Planes – $3.6 million
Check back tomorrow for the full box office report.