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Box office disaster: Harrison Ford's 'Paranoia' has the worst debut of 2013 (and his career)

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Together, Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, and Harrison Ford have starred in some of the biggest blockbusters of all time. Hemsworth has The Hunger Games, Oldman had the Harry Potter films, and Ford starred in two little franchises called Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

But the trio of actors couldn’t lift the $40 million thriller Paranoia — which you may not have realized opened in 2,459 theaters on Friday — out of the box office doldrums. In fact, Paranoia bombed. Badly. The film earned just $3.5 million in its first three days, which yielded a pitiful $1,423 per-theater average. Not only is that the worst debut of 2013 for a movie opening in more than 2,000 theaters — stealing the inauspicious title from Tyler Perry Presents Peeples, which opened with $4.6 million in May — it’s the worst wide opening weekend of Ford’s entire career. Han Solo can usually do better than 13th place.

Paranoia was directed by Robert Luketic, the rom-com specialist behind films like Legally Blonde, The Ugly Truth, and Monster-in-Law. Neither audiences nor critics enjoyed his take on the business thriller, though. The film currently has a 2 percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and polled crowds stamped it with an awful “C+” CinemaScore grade. Ads for the film were confusing, and despite their effort to explain the storyline, made the film look like little more than a jumbled mess of corporate conspiracy.
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Box office report: 'The Butler' cleans up with $25 million, wipes the floor with 'Kick-Ass 2'

This weekend at the box office, a superhero comedy, a Steve Jobs biopic, and a Harrison Ford thriller all got served by a butler. Lee Daniels’ The Butler, to be exact. The Weinstein Company’s awards-bait drama, which stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, topped the chart with an excellent $25 million from 2,933 theaters in its first frame. Audiences issued the well-reviewed picture an enthusiastic “A” CinemaScore grade, which sets it up for a lucrative box office run as summer draws to a close.

The Butler opened in the same range as The Help, which found $26 million in its first weekend in August 2011. Like that film, The Butler tells a racially charged story that is playing particularly well with older women. According to Weinstein, crowds were 60 percent female and 76 percent above the age of 35. Winfrey’s presence no doubt helped lure in many of those ticket-buyers, as did The Butler‘s “inspired by a true story” cachet.
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Box office update: 'The Butler' dishes out $8.3 million Friday, kicks 'Kick-Ass 2' to the curb

Oprah Winfrey doesn’t lend her name to just any project, but when she does, you can be sure that people will take notice. Her latest effort — and first film in over a decade – Lee Daniels’ The Butler, proved extra appealing to ticket buyers. The period drama, which also stars Forest Whitaker and Terrence Howard, served up $8.3 million on its first Friday, which puts it on pace for a $25 million weekend and an easy first place finish. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Kick-Ass 2' may get served by 'The Butler' this weekend

Welcome to the dog days of the August box office, when studios flood theaters with their final summer releases before the prestigious fall season begins.  Last weekend, four new releases entered theaters, this weekend four new releases are hitting the big screen, and heck — next week, four more new releases are opening.

This week’s new movies — Kick-Ass 2, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Jobs, and Paranoia — fall into two camps: the number one contenders and the likely underperformers. Here’s how the weekend may play out:

1. Lee Daniels’ The Butler – $25 million
The Danny Strong-penned historical drama, which stars Forest Whitaker, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, and, notably, Oprah Winfrey, may be able to swipe the top spot away from Kick-Ass 2. Sure, Weinstein, which is releasing the $30 million film about longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, says it’s expecting a debut in the high-teens, but stories about race in American culture are reliably appealing at the box office (42 opened to $27.5 million earlier this year; The Help opened to $25 million in August 2011).

The Butler is also a patriotic tale and its real-life inspiration makes it even more appealing for audiences. Oscar fans will flock to the first awards-bait of 2013, history buffs that loved Lincoln will turn out to see presidents come to life on screen, and audiences that love Oprah (according to a Fandango poll, 72 percent of ticket-buyers said she increased their likelihood to see the film) won’t miss the chance to catch her in a rare scripted role. Out in 2,933 theaters, The Butler may take in about $25 million. READ FULL STORY

'Paranoia' trailer: Liam Hemsworth stars opposite Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford in corporate thriller

Gale, you’re not in District 12 anymore.

Hunger Games actor Liam Hemsworth is going from playing a poor boy in a post-apocalyptic world to a Brooklyn guy climbing the corporate ladder in upcoming movie Paranoia. The first trailer for the book-based thriller hit the web today.

Adapted from the 2004 novel of the same name by Joseph Finder, Paranoia follows Adam Cassidy, a recent college grad trying to get his career started with an entry-level job at Wyatt Corporation. When the CEO (Gary Oldman) enlists him as a company spy and has him steal trade secrets from his rival (Harrison Ford), things start to get messy as he’s caught between two kings of the corporate world.

The trailer has a bit of a Paycheck vibe (sans memory wipe), as Adam gets involved with revolutionary new technology that he decides he must destroy. Also, check out how Adam gets groomed to play the part of young corporate hotshot — with the preppy polo shirts, crisp expensive suits, and parted hair, it looks like The Social Network‘s Winklevoss twins were actually meant to be the Winklevoss triplets.

Watch the trailer, which debuted on Yahoo.com, below: READ FULL STORY

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