Hugh Jackman proved once again that he can slice his way to box office gold with or without claws.
The “Wolverine” star took the thriller “Prisoners” to the number one spot this weekend with a gross of $21.4 million, according to THR.com. Jackman portrays a Pennyslvania father looking for his kidnapped daughter. Co-star Jake Gyllenhaal is the leader of the police investigation. When Jackman gets frustrated with the investigation, he takes the law into his own claws…uh hands. The Warner Bros. film only cost $30 million to produce, so the film is already being hailed as an early fall hit.
Last week’s top movie ‘Insidious: Chapter 2″ dipped to second place, pulling in $14.5 million in it’s second week. The horror film debuted to over $41 million, surprising critics who panned the sequel. So far, “Insidious 2” has grossed $60.9 million Fans are delighted to know that “Insidious 3” is already on the drawing board.
“The Family” directed by Luc Besson, continues to make a made man out of direcotr Luc Besson. The mob laugher starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert DeNiro as a mob family in witness protection brought in $7 million in it’s second week, which was good enough for the third spot. The Spanish language “Instructions Not Included” was muy bueno at the box office earning $5.7 million to come in at No. 4. Rounding out the top 5 was the disappointing “Battle of the Year.” Neither 3D nor Chris Brown could save the dance flick from bombing with only $5 million in it’s debut. Directed by Benson Lee, the film cost $20 million to make.
As far as the box office, “The Butler” proved that the only direction it knew…was up.
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” held off one of the hottest boy bands in music by grossing an estimated $20 million to stay atop the box office for it’s third consecutive week. It narrowly beat out the concert film “One Direction: This is Us,” which made a strong bid for the Labor Day crown, which pulled in $18 million over the holiday weekend.
Critics destroyed the Ford Shelby driven vehicle “The Getaway,” starring Ethan Hawke and another teen idol, Selena Gomez. The action film about a former racer who steals a car in order to save his wife only had enough gas to open at tenth for the week grossing $5.5 million.
The comedy “We’re the Millers” continued it’s family lovefest with $15.9 million to come in third place. The animated “Cars” spinoff “Planes” held on to fourth place with $10.7 million.
The biggest winner of the week may have been “Instructions Not Included,” which can boast the largest opening for a Spanish language film in North America. The film starring Eugenio Derbez grossed $10 million for the weekend despite being on a mere 347 theaters, in contrast to “The Butler” and “We’re the Millers” which are on 3,300 and 3,445 films respectively.
Even the end of the world couldn’t stop “The Butler” at the box office.
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” ruled the box office for a second consecutive week, despite a few well-publicized films targeting teens and tweens making their debut. The Forest Whitaker starrer took the box office crown with $17 million this weekend, according to studio estimates.
Surprisingly, the civil rights film which also stars Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, and Cuba Gooding, Jr skewed to a different audience thanks to positive word-of-mouth. According to the Hollywood Reporter, white moviegoers made up 55 percent of the film’s audience, a 7% increase from it’s opening week.
“We’re the Millers” showed it’s dysfunctional family has box office staying power. In it’s third week, the Jason Sudeikis/Jennifer Aniston vehicle grossed $13.5 million to come in second for the week. Hoping to become the next “Twilight” franchise, “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” pulled in a disappointing $9.3 million for the weekend and $14 million for the week (it opened on Wednesday) to come in third. The film is based on a popular series of young adult novels. That popularity didn’t seem to make it to the big screen.
The low budget action comedy about a possible end of the world “The World’s End” surprising grabbed fourth place with $8.9 million. Starring Simon Pegg, the film outperformed much of it’s competition despite being on only 1,549 theaters. By comparison, Mortal Instruments were on 3,118 theaters.
The other big opening was the horror film “Youre Next’ which finished just outside the top 5 grossing $7.1 million to grab sixth place. Disney’s animated feature “Planes” rounded out the top 5 with $8.6 million.
Suffice it to say, ‘The Butler’ kicked ass.
Thanks to a media blitz by the queen of all media, Oprah Winfrey, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” took in an estimated $25 million to open in the top spot at the box office, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The civil rights film starred Winfrey and Forest Whitaker as they easily dominated this week’s new releases.
The long-awaited superhero sequel “Kick-Ass 2” was projected to take the top spot, but instead mustered a disappointing $13.6 million which was good enough for a hold on third place. Critics skewered the story about would-be superheroes starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Another star-studded film came up short as “Paranoia” opened to a pathetic $3.5 million, which couldn’t even get it into the top ten. The thriller starring Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford came in at thirteenth place.
Having the star of a hit show and rumors of a new idevice couldn’t create enough buzz to get crowds to see “Jobs.” The Ashton Kutcher attempt based on Steve Jobs came in 7th with $6.7 million. The only saving graces for these underperforming films is that both “Kick-Ass 2”, “Jobs”, and “Paranoia” cost so little that there’s still chance they’ll turn a profit due to foreign markets.
Besides “The Butler,” the only ones cheering at the box office were holdovers such as last week’s number one, Elysium which brought in $13.6 million and “We’re the Millers” starring Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston which grossed $17.8 million to hold on to second place for the week.
This week, moviegoers were scared, but not as scared as film execs.
The low budget horror film “The Conjuring” scared the heck out of the competition this week pulling in $41.5 million at the box office as the dreaded F-word (flop) started making it’s way into more frequent use. The film directed by James Wan (“Saw”, “Insidious”) easily blew away the competition in a week that had surprise low for some big name debuts.
Besides “The Conjuring,” the newbies had to bow down to Gru and “Despicable Me 2”. The animated blockbuster pulled in another $25.1 million to secure the #2 spot this week and bring its domestic total to $276.2 million.
The Ryan Reynolds-Jeff Bridges supernatural cop film “R.I.P.D” found itself being brought up on charges as it’s shaping to be the flop of the week, if not the entire summer. The film grossed a criminal $12.8 million for 7th place. Of course, the film cost at least $135 million to make, so don’t expect a sequel or for a retrial. At least the guys from “After Earth” and the “The Lone Ranger” have someone to laugh at.
One that won’t be laughing so much is “Pacific Rim”. It brought in $15.9 million for the week to bring it to $68.2 million in it’s second week. It cost $200 million and seems to be going downhill fast.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen an animated film disappoint. This one did so with the help of a nitrous-powered snail with dreams of grandeur. “Turbo” came in with $21.5 million to open it’s run, but like R.I.P.D, it also cost in the neighborhood of $130 million. Dreamworks rarely produces a dude, so this is a rarity, but don’t expect them to want to see another snail anytime soon.
“Red” was a cute movie about burned spies that surprised moviegoers in 2010. It was too good for a sequel, which is why made one. It’s also why it didn’t do as well as the original bringing in $18.5 million in its debut. Middle-aged spies and a hot septuagenarian only gets you so far. Perhaps the next mystery they can solve is why open this movie in mid-summer when the original opened in a much safer October window.
Rounding out the top 10…
8. The Heat….$9.3 million
9. World War Z…$5.2 million
10. Monsters University…$5 million