Box office update: 'The Butler' holds off competition with $4.8 million Friday

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Image Credit: Anne Marie Fox

Despite the arrival of three newcomers, Lee Daniels’ The Butler stayed atop its box office perch quite easily on Friday. The $30 million Weinstein drama starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey fell 43 percent from its first Friday to $4.8 million, which puts it on track for a great $17 million second weekend. The Butler‘s total will have climbed to about $52 million by Sunday night.

We’re the Millers held up even better on its third Friday. The film dropped only 26 percent to $4 million, which should yield a $14 million weekend and an excellent $92 million total. The Warner Bros. million comedy, which cost $37 million, is set to become Jennifer Aniston’s sixth $100 million hit.

The next three spots on the chart belonged to the three new releases, none of which are lighting up the box office. The World’s End fared best, scoring $3.5 million from 1,549 theaters on Friday, and it may take in about $9 million over the full weekend. The British import will easily outdo the debuts of its two wacky predecessors, 2004′s Shaun of the Dead and 2007′s Hot Fuzz, which opened with $3.3 million and $5.8 million, respectively.

In fourth place, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones continued its march to the same YA-graveyard as Beautiful Creatures and The Host. The $60 million fantasy film conjured $3.1 million on Friday, which sets it up for an awful $9.3 million weekend and only $14 million over its five-day debut. At least that was better than You’re Next, which rounded out the Top 5 with $3 million on Friday. The R-rated horror film, which earned reviews on par with July’s The Conjuring, may slash up about $8 million this weekend.

1. The Butler – $4.8 million
2. We’re the Millers – $4.0 million
3. The World’s End – $3.5 million
4. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – $3.1 million
5. You’re Next – $3.0 million

Down in tenth place, Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine seems to have expanded too quickly. After a few robust weeks in limited release (last weekend, in its fourth frame, Jasmine scored $2.3 million from 229 theaters thanks to a terrific $10,005 theater average), Sony Pictures Classics expanded the film into 1,237 theaters. But on Friday, Blue Jasmine took in just $1.2 million, putting it on pace for a $3.6 million frame. Most analysts were expecting about $6 million from the film this weekend, but it seems many potential viewers weren’t aware it was hitting their local cinema.

Check back tomorrow for the full box office report.

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