For the second weekend in a row, Lee Daniels’ The Butler dished out major blows to the new arrivals at the late summer box office. The Weinstein drama, which stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, fell 31 percent to $17 million this weekend, bringing The Butler‘s gross to $52.3 million after ten days. The film isn’t raking in quite as much as 2011′s The Help, which had earned $57.2 million in its first ten days (though that film opened on a Wednesday, so that total accounts for only one weekend), and it won’t match The Help‘s $169.7 million finish. Still, if word-of-mouth keeps driving slim week-to-week declines, The Butler has a very good chance of reaching $100 million. Even if it just misses the century mark, the film will triple its $30 million budget domestically.
But The Butler wasn’t the only holdover to notch an impressive drop. We’re the Millers held up even better in its third weekend. The Jason Sudeikis/Jennifer Aniston collaboration fell only 25 percent to $13.5 million, which gives the pot smuggling comedy a smoking $91.7 million total. Millers is performing even better than Sudeikis’ and Aniston’s previous comedic offering, Horrible Bosses, which had earned $82.6 million at the same point in its run on the way to a $117 million final tally. Warner Bros.’ Millers won’t be able to surpass The Heat‘s $155.9 million gross to become the biggest comedy of the summer, but it could still catch up to Grown Ups 2‘s $128 million total — a phenomenal result for a film that cost $37 million. Sudeikis chose the right project to launch his post-SNL career. READ FULL STORY