Oprah's 'Butler' cleans up with $25 million at movie box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:22pm EDT

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK Aug 18 (Reuters) - "Lee Daniels' The Butler," a civil rights drama starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, easily won the weekend box office battle, pulling in $25 million from U.S. and Canadian ticket sales through Sunday.

Jennifer Aniston comedy "We're the Millers" finished second in its second week in release, earning $17.8 million and beating "Kick-Ass 2," a comedy sequel about a teenage crime-fighting duo, which came in fourth with $13.57 million in its first three days, according to studio estimates.

The Matt Damon sci-fi thriller "Elysium" finished third in its second week, with $13.6 million.

"The Butler," featuring Winfrey's first acting role since 1998, is inspired by the life of Eugene Allen, an African-American White House butler who served eight U.S. presidents. Whitaker plays the butler opposite Winfrey, his chain-smoking, hard-drinking wife, Gloria. It was directed by Lee Daniels.

"Kick-Ass 2," a follow-up to the 2010 original, stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a nerdy teenage boy who fights injustice as costumed superhero Kick-Ass. Chloe Moretz plays his sidekick known as Hit Girl.

In "We're the Millers," Aniston stars as a stripper who poses as the wife of a small-time pot dealer, played by Jason Sudeikis, to help smuggle marijuana into the United States.

The privately held Weinstein Co distributed "The Butler." "Kick-Ass 2" was released by Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp. Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc , released "We're the Millers." Sony Corp's movie studio released "Elysium."