Thursday, April 25, 2024

“The Butler” Number 1 with $25 Mil, Steve Jobs Movie Tanks


Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” was the number 1 movie of the week with $25 million total. That’s a major blow out success for Harvey Weinstein, Daniels, and the whole “Butler” team. It also sets the movie on the road to Oscars and other awards galore.

“The Butler” did about as well as “The Help” two years ago, released the same week. “The Help” took in $26 million in its opening was number 2 that week in August 2011. The major difference: “The Help” had been a bestselling book with legions of fans. “The Butler” is an original story with no such built in audience. It will be interesting to see its momentum going forward.

Meanwhile, “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher as the Apple wunderkind was a total bust with $6 million for the weekend. That’s a total disaster considering the cult of Jobs and Apple products. But reviews, including mine, were quite negative. Ashton Kutcher is no draw at the box office.

Some other box office returns: Lindsay Lohan’s “The Canyons” hasn’t reported weekend numbers yet. As of Friday it was up to $38,000.

“Kick Ass 2” came in fourth, which was a real shocker. Original estimates had i at number 1, or may 2 after “The Butler.” But 2 and 3 went to “We’re the Millers” and the fading “Elysium.” A lot of people may blame Jim Carrey for turning his back on “Kick Ass 2” publicly.

Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” is up to $9.4 million still in limited release. The great great film with Cate Blanchett in her sure to be Oscar nominated role–and maybe win–will expand shortly, getting up to 1000 theatres.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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