The end of summer is nigh and it's going out with a whimper (although this weekend's gross is up 16% since last year). The openers (even the third installment of the Cornetto Trilogy) couldn't compete with an Oprah and Weinstein Company-endorsed historical drama and a comedy featuring a Jennifer Aniston striptease. Sorry folks, the next few weeks look even bleaker with an Ethan Hawke-Selena Gomez chase heist flick and the One Direction doc on the horizon. With a sense of dread, looking out onto the dearth of late summer movies and waiting for the shiny-though-not-always-golden "I want an Oscar" period of fall, we give you this weekend's not-so-surprising and not-so-thrilling box office results.
Coming in at the top spot, star-studded "Lee Daniels' The Butler" served up $17 million for the weekend. Crossing the domestic $50 million mark with a running total of $52.3 million, this is Lee Daniels' highest grossing film to date, beating out "Precious" and its $47.6 million run. Still in second for its third week in a row (hat trick!), "We're The Millers" has held its own, raking in $13.5 million. With a running total of $91.7 million, this is on track to be Jennifer Aniston's sixth film to make over $100 million.
In third, the 'Twilight'-wannabe "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" mustered up $9.3 million for its opening weekend. Starring Lily Collins, the film made slightly more than half what "Mirror Mirror" did its opening weekend ($18.1 million) and marks director Harald Zwart's second worst opening ever (after "One Night at McCool's" $2.5 million). Considering a $60 million budget and hopes of a young adult franchise for Sony, 'The Mortal Instruments' doesn't look like it will play for much longer, let alone for a reprise.
Normally, a fourth place is disappointing, but not with Edgar Wright's "The World's End," which ended up opening with $8.9 million for the weekend. Although the film did not perform as well at the box office as its rival summer apocalypse comedy "This Is The End" (opened in second with $20.7 million), it did fare far better than its two predecessors in the Cornetto Trilogy, "Shaun of the Dead" (opened in seventh with $3.3 million) and "Hot Fuzz" (opened in sixth with $5.8 million). "The World's End" also marks Wright's best ranking opening weekend on the U.S. box office chart, though it's his second best grossing ("Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" placed in fifth with $10.6 million). Made with an estimated $20 million budget, the film has already raked in $14 million overseas and therefore has made back its budget this opening weekend.
Flying in at fifth, "Planes" has yet to crash or get a seagull to the propeller with $8.6 million. Not so high in the sky, "Elysium" has landed in a close sixth with $7.1 million. After waiting two years to get off of the Lionsgate shelf, "You're Next" has opened in an anti-climactic seventh with a little over $7 million. Comparatively, another low-budget horror film "The Purge" had a jaw-dropping surprise opening of first place with $34 million earlier this summer.
In eighth, "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" made $5.2 million this weekend, nearing the $50 million mark with a running total of $48.3 million in its third week.
In ninth, "Blue Jasmine" made $4.3 million, nearing the $15 million mark with a running total of $14.8 million, though its first weekend in wide release. Showing at 1,283 theaters, "Blue Jasmine" is the widest release of Woody Allen's career and may go on to be the most financially successful. Only in its fifth week, "Blue Jasmine" is already his 13th best grossing film of all time (not factoring in inflation).
Barely hanging in there, "Kick-Ass 2" kicked the bucket with the biggest percentage drop on the chart (-68%) and the actioner only $4.3 million made in its second weekend.
As for specialty box office, Wong Kar-wai's "The Grandmaster" walloped the lot of them. Distributed in the U.S. by The Weinstein Company, the martial arts drama about Bruce Lee’s mentor Ip Man, opened in 7 theaters and made $132,259, averaging $18,894 per theater. In second, Destin Cretton's "Short Term 12," the Sundance hit about a 20-something foster care staff member (Brie Larson), opened in 4 theaters and made $60,137, averaging $15,034 per theater. In third, Joe Swanberg's indie star-studded "Drinking Buddies," a romantic dramedy revolving around a Chicago brewery and starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick, opened in 2 theaters and made $19,000, averaging $9,500 per theater. In fourth, Lucy Mulloy's "Una Noche," the Tribeca hit about two Cubans trying to not-so-legally immigrate to Miami, opened 3 theaters and made $18,840, averaging $6,160 per theater. In fifth, Jerusha Hess's holdover "Austenland" expanded from 4 to 23 theaters and made $125,978, with a $5,477 average per theater for the weekend.
1. Lee Daniels' The Butler (The Weinstein Company) - $17,018,000 ($52,275,000)
2. We’re the Millers (Warner Bros.) - $13,500,000 ($91,740,000)
3. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (ScreenGem/Sony) - $9,300,000
4. The World's End (Focus) - $8,942,000
5. Planes (Buena Vista) - $8,567,000 ($59,591,000)
6. Elysium (TriStar) - $7,100,000 ($69,054,000)
7. You're Next (LionsGate) - $7,050,000
8. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Fox) - $5,200,000 ($48,346,000)
9. Blue Jasmine (Sony) - $4,300,000 ($14,799,000)
10. Kick-Ass 2 (Fox) - $4,270,000 ($22,423,000)