"Lee Daniels' The Butler" easily sailed to No. 1 at the box office in the U.S. and Canada in the movie's opening weekend. According to a Box Office Mojo report published on Aug. 18, 2013, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" had $25 million in ticket sales for the weekend ending Aug. 18. The success of "Lee Daniels' The Butler" (a drama based on the true story of a butler who worked in the White House for several decades) has been spurred by mostly positive reviews, an all-star cast (including Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams, Mariah Carey, Jane Fonda, Lenny Kravitz, Terrence Howard, John Cusack and Vanessa Redgrave) and significant Oscar buzz. Many people are predicting that "Lee Daniels' The Butler" will get several Academy Award nominations. At the website Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles movie reviews, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" got a 72 percent approval rating from critics.
Meanwhile, Universal Pictures' ultra-violent superhero action flick "Kick-Ass 2" fell far short of expectations, landing at No. 4 with $13.6 million in ticket sales. Although many pundits thought that "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and "Kick-Ass 2" would be in a close race for No. 1, in the end, the race wasn't even close. Kick-Ass 2" was also not well-received by critics; the movie got only a 28 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. By contrast, 2010's "Kick-Ass" made $19.8 million in its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada, and got a 77 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Other movies that opened wide in the U.S. and Canada on Aug. 16, 2013, fared even worse than "Kick-Ass 2."
Open Road Films' "Jobs" (a biopic of Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, with Ashton Kutcher in the starring role) flopped with only $6.7 million in ticket sales for the movie's opening weekend, where "Jobs" ranked at No. 7. Furthermore, "Jobs" got only a 25 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. There were early signs that "Jobs" was going to flop, since the movie got mostly negative reviews after it premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The movie's release was also postponed from its original release date of April 18, 2013. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter, "Jobs" was delayed because Open Road wanted more time to market the movie.
The corporate crime thriller "Paranoia" (from Relativity Media) bombed with a pathetic $3.5 million, which gave the movie a debut at No. 13 in its opening weekend. Despite having the star power of Harrison Ford, Liam Hemsworth and Gary Oldman, "Paranoia" was clearly a turnoff to movie audiences and critics. "Paranoia" got only a 4 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "Paranoia" may rival "Grown-Ups 2" as critics' most hated movie of 2013.
Here are the Top 5 movies in the U.S. and Canada for the weekend ending Aug. 18, 2013:
1. "Lee Daniels' The Butler" — $25 million
2. "We're the Millers" — $17.8 million
3. "Elysium" — $13.6 million
4. "Kick-Ass 2" — $13.57 million
5. "Planes" — $13.1 million