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Weekend Estimates: Butler Gives Winning Performance

August 18th, 2013

If it can move Summer forward to the first week in May, perhaps Hollywood can also move Awards Season forward to mid-August. That's certainly the feeling one gets from looking at the varying fortunes of this weekend's openers. Summer standards Paranoia and Kick-Ass 2 have both fallen by the wayside (with a dismal $3.5 million opening in the first case and a disappointing $13.6 million debut in the latter). Jobs, which was made with awards in mind, has misfired with a $6.7 million start. But one film has risen above the rest on the basis of a compelling story and some high-class acting. Lee Daniels' The Butler will top the chart this weekend with around $25 million, according to Weinstein Co.'s Sunday estimate. That's the first film from the distributor to top the chart since Inglourious Basterds did this weekend in 2009. That film also had Oscar aspirations, and The Butler might well follow a similar course in Awards Season: some impressive nominations but ultimately not top honors.

Another film garnering awards buzz is Blue Jasmine, which has been tearing up art houses over the past few weeks. It has faltered a little this weekend, almost halving its theater average while doubling its theater count. Perhaps it has reached a plateau, although some expansion still seems likely.

Among the limited openers, Austenland is faring best with an average of around $10,650 in four theaters. You Will Be My Son will pick up a shade over $15,000 in a single theater, according to Cohen Media Group.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Kick-Ass 2, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Tu seras mon fils, Paranoia, Jobs, Blue Jasmine, Austenland