By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK Aug 25 Civil rights drama
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" took home its second U.S. and Canadian
box office title, topping a Jennifer Aniston comedy and a newly
released supernatural teen film.
"The Butler," starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey,
earned $17 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday,
according to studio estimates. Jennifer Aniston comedy "We're
the Millers" came in second with $13.5 million.
Among three late summer newcomers, "Mortal Instruments: City
of Bones" landed in third with $9.3 million, comedy "The World's
End" finished fourth with $8.9 million, while low-budget horror
film "You're Next" only managed the No. 7 slot, with $7.1
"The Butler," which also topped movie charts a week ago, is
inspired by the real-life story of an African American man who
served as a White House butler for eight U.S. presidents.
Whitaker stars as the title character and Winfrey plays his
chain-smoking, hard-drinking wife.
The movie distributed by The Weinstein Company has rung up
sales of $52.3 million through its first two weekends, far
surpassing its $25 million budget paid by 28 investors, and is
drumming up buzz as an awards season contender.
"Mortal Instruments," which stars Lily Collins as a teen
who works to protect the world from demons, performed best among
the weekend's new entries. The movie, another bid to reach the
teen audience that made "Twilight" a blockbuster, is based on a
popular series of young adult novels written by Cassandra Clare.
German company Constantin Films produced "Mortal
Instruments" for $60 million, and Sony paid for U.S. marketing
and distribution. The movie opened Wednesday and added about
$4.8 million ahead of the weekend, for a five-day total of $14.1
Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures' president of worldwide
distribution, said that as the weekend progressed the film saw
increasing business from its base of teenage girls, and had
performed within the studio's expectations.
"People are liking this film, so there's more to this story
as far as the future of the film goes," Bruer said.
British sci-fi comedy "The World's End," which was
accurately projected to haul in about $9 million, tells the
story of five friends who reunite for a pub crawl and become the
planet's only hope for survival from an alien invasion.
Noting that the film "opened this weekend against a very
competitive field of new titles," Focus Features said in a
statement that its fourth-place finish "indicates that the core
fan audience, buoyed by strong word-of-mouth and social media
buzz, helped to power the film to a successful weekend."
"World's End," which has been playing in some foreign
markets since July, cost $20 million to produce, according to
the Box Office Mojo website.
"You're Next," the latest entry in the inexpensive horror
film genre, performed the weakest among the new entries, falling
far short of pre-weekend forecasts for a $15 million opening.
The movie, which tells the story of a gang of ax-wielding
murderers who wear animal masks and terrorize a family reunion,
was shot for under $1 million, with Lionsgate reportedly
acquiring the rights for about $2 million.
Woody Allen comedy "Blue Jasmine" expanded to 1,200 theaters
and earned $4.3 million over the weekend. The film stars Cate
Blanchett as a woman falling apart after her husband's financial
misdeeds cause her to lose her posh New York lifestyle.
Cumulative sales since its July 26 release have reached $14.8
The Weinstein Company distributed "The Butler." "We're the
Millers" was distributed by Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner
Inc. "You're Next" was released by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp
. Sony Corp's movie studio released "Mortal
Instruments" and "Blue Jasmine." "The World's End" was released
by Focus Features, a unit of Comcast Corp's Universal