The Butler led ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters for a third weekend over the Labor Day holiday, as Hollywood wrapped up a record summer season.
The Weinstein Co. film, based on the real-life story of a White House servant, collected $20.2 million over four days, researcher Hollywood.com said Monday. That was enough to outdistance One Direction: This Is Us, the concert documentary on the British boy band, in its debut.
The weekend’s $157 million haul, a record for Labor Day, brought to a close Hollywood’s biggest summer ever.The season, which runs from May through early September, accounts for 40 percent or more of annual ticket sales. Revenue rose 10 percent, to $4.71 billion from a year earlier, surpassing 2011’s record high of $4.4 billion, according to Hollywood.com. Attendance surged 6.6 percent despite notable failures such as The Lone Ranger.
The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, is based on the story of Eugene Allen, who served eight U.S. presidents. Made for an estimated $30 million, it has collected $79.4 million domestically since Aug. 16, according to Box Office Mojo.
This Is Us, which led the weekend through Sunday, generated $18.5 million to take second place for TriStar. The movie, made for an estimated $10 million, was projected to take $22 million in its first four days, according to Boxoffice.com.
About the popular band mentored by pop impresario Simon Cowell, One Direction follows Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Liam Payneon a 150-date world tour. Tracing the young men’s hometown beginnings, it’s a mix of live concert footage with behind-the-scenes shots.
Surprise hit We’re the Millers finished in third with $16.3 million, for a total of about $113 million since Aug. 7. It was made for an estimated $37 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
Bankable sequels like Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2 and Fast & Furious 6 contributed to the summer record. The animated Despicable Me 2, made for $76 million, has collected $355 million in domestic theaters for Universal Pictures since July 3, according to Box Office Mojo - second only to Walt Disney Co.’s latest Iron Man installment, which took in $408.6 million, among releases this year.
Fast & Furious 6, the latest of the car-chase sagas, has generated $238.7 million domestically.
Other summer movies that have topped $200 million in the United States include Man of Steel from Warner Bros., Monsters University from Disney and Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z from Paramount Pictures.
Among other new releases, Instructions Not Included from Pantelion Films and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. took in $10.4 million for fifth place, in the biggest opening for a Spanish-language film in North America, according to Hollywood.com. Getaway, a release from Warner Bros. starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez, took in $5.6million for 10th place.
Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 7.4 percent, to $117.7 million, over four days from the year-earlier period, Hollywood.com said. Attendance year to date is down 2.3 percent, while revenue has risen 1.1 percent, to $7.69 billion.
MovieStyle, Pages 34 on 09/06/2013
Print Headline: Butler cleans up for third week