Oprah Winfrey plays Gloria Gaines, and Forest Whitaker is Cecil Gaines in "Lee Daniels' The Butler."
Further boosting its profile, "Lee Daniel's The Butler" topped the box office in its second weekend with $17 million, pushing its total to $52.3 million and becoming Daniel's most successful film in North America.
The Weinstein Co. release — headlining Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey — fell just 31 percent as it surpassed the $47.6 million earned by Daniel's acclaimed drama "Precious" in 2009.
"The Butler" wasn't the only holdover to beat the weekend's three new films. New Line's Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston raunchy comedy "We're the Millers" fell a scant 25 percent in its third weekend, grossing $13.5 million to place No. 2. The R-rated sleeper hit has now grossed $91.7 million.
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Among the trio of new offerings, the results were disappointing for "Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," which took in $9.3 million for the weekend and $14 million for five days (the pic opened Wednesday).
Based on Cassandra Clare's popular supernatural young-adult book series, "Mortal Instruments" is the latest YA property to disappoint. The $60 million film, starring Lily Collins as a demon-hunting teen, was produced and financed by Germany's Constantin Films.
In the U.S., females made up 68 percent of the audience, while 46 percent of those buying tickets were under the age of 21. Sony is releasing "Mortal Instruments" domestically via its Screen Gems label.
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Edgar Wright's modestly budgeted action-comedy "The World's End" fared nicely as it opened to $8.9 million from only 1,549 theaters, compared to 3,118 for "Mortal Instruments" and 2,437 for horror pic "You're Next." From Focus Features, the $20 million movie, boosted by stellar reviews and a B+ CinemaScore, placed No. 4. It nabbed the highest location average of any title in the top 10 ($5,773) thanks to diehard fans.
"World's End," starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, follows a group of friends who reunite for an epic bar crawl only to discover that their hometown has been infested with supernatural beings. Written by Wright and Pegg, the comedy — fueled by males (58 percent) — opened ahead of their "Shaun of the Dead" ($3.3 million) and "Hot Fuzz" ($5.8 million) and did best in cities including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Austin. College graduates made up nearly 60 percent of those buying tickets.
Lionsgate's "You're Next," about a family whose vacation home is attacked my animal-mask-wearing assailants, opened to a subdued $7.1 million to come in No. 6. Heading into weekend, the horror film had been tipped to beat "World's End" and "Mortal Instruments."
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Woody Allen's critically acclaimed "Blue Jasmine"cracked the top 10 chart as it expanded into a total of 1,200 theaters in its fifth weekend, marking Allen's widest release ever. The Sony Pictures Classics release, starring Cate Blanchett, grossed $4.3 million for a cume of $14.8 million.
Steve Jobs biopic "Jobs," starring Ashton Kutcher, tumbled nearly 60 percent in its second weekend to No. 12, grossing an estimated $3 million for a total $12.1 million.
First published August 25 2013, 9:05 AM