The Butler did it -- murdered the competition, that is. The Lee Daniels-directed movie, starring Forest Whitaker, opened with an estimated $25 million, considerably above pundits' forecasts. While they had predicted a close race with Universal's Kick-Ass 2, the latter film wasn't even a contender as it opened in fourth place with about $13.57 million -- far below forecasts of $17-23 million. But if that result was a disappointment, the performance of the other two films that opened this weekend were outright fiascos. The Ashton Kutcher biopic Jobs, about the Apple co-founder, tanked with just $6.7 million, coming in seventh. And Relativity Media's Paranoia failed even to make the top ten, debuting at No. 13 with just $3.50 million. But the real surprise came from the No. 2 film, We're the Millers, which slid less than 33 percent in its second week to $17.78 million. It easily surpassed Elysium, last weekend's top film, which dropped to third place with $13.6 million, down more than 54 percent from last weekend. Meanwhile, Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine keeps rolling in the green. The movie earned $3.36 million from just 229 screens in its third week, to average $10,301 per theater, the best per-theater average of any film in current release.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. Lee Daniels' The Butler, $25 million; 2. We're the Millers, $17.78 million; 3. Elysium, $13.6 million; 4. Kick-Ass 2, $13.56 million; 5. Planes, $13.14 million; 6. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, $8.37 million; 7. Jobs, $6.7 million; 8. 2 Guns, $5.57 million; 9. The Smurfs 2, $4.6 million; 10. The Wolverine, $4.42 million.