Oprah's 'Butler' serves up box office win ahead of 'One Direction'

By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud

REUTERS - Civil rights drama "Lee Daniels' The Butler" continued to serve up box office victories with $20 million in ticket sales over the long U.S. Labor Day weekend, leading Hollywood's box office for the third straight weekend.

Hollywood box office tracking services had given the crown to the concert film "One Direction: This is Us," featuring the red hot British boy band, based on estimates on Sunday morning, before the U.S. holiday on Monday.

"The Butler," the story of an African American man who served as a White House butler for eight U.S. presidents, has grossed $79.3 million in ticket sales since opening on August 16, according to Hollywood.com on Monday.

The film, distributed by the Weinstein Company, is generating awards season buzz and stars Forest Whitaker as the title character opposite Oprah Winfrey as his hard-drinking wife.

"One Direction: This is Us," a Sony Pictures/TriStar release, led the box office through Sunday but fell behind when "The Butler" enjoyed strong Monday showings. Sony also reduced its three-day estimate to $15.8 million from $17 million for the first three days.

The clean-cut five-singer group, which finished third in the British version of the musical competition show "The X Factor" in 2010, has sold more than 10 million albums and 19 million singles, according to its management company's website.

"'One Direction' sprinted out of the gate and had a huge opening day, and as is typical of the young moviegoer, they rushed out to see the film immediately," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office division of Hollywood.com. "Older audiences take their time and that's evident by 'The Butler's' steady rise."

Warner Bros' Jennifer Aniston hit, "We're the Millers," which also stars Jason Sudeikis in the drug smuggling comedy, was third with $15.9 million in ticket sales over the long weekend. It totaled $112.9 million in the U.S. and Canada.

Walt Disney's animated film "Planes" was fourth for over the holiday weekend with ticket sales of $10.7 million, and has total ticket sales of $73.8 million.

"Instructions Not Included," starring and directed by Mexican television star Eugenio Derbez, finished the weekend with ticket sales of $10 million, the highest-grossing Spanish-language films ever, according to movie site Box Office Mojo.

The film is distributed by Pantelion, a co-venture of the Lionsgate movie studio and Mexican television network Televisa, and was released in 347 domestic theaters compared with around 3,000 for the leaders.

Pantelion intends to expand the movie's run to around 500 theaters this week, said Pantelion Chief Executive Paul Presburger.

"Our goal is to focus more on the general market and generate the same kind of word of mouth that has made this film so successful," said Presburger.

"Getaway," Warner Bros' low-budget high speed action film starring Ethan Hawke as a former race car driver racing to save his kidnapped wife, the week's other major new film, opened with $5.5 million in ticket sales, for tenth place, according to Hollywood.com.

Warner Bros is a unit of Time Warner Inc . (Reporting by Ronald Grover)

Latest News

  • FDCI locks dates for next AIFW seasons

    New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the country's apex fashion body on Sunday announced dates for the Amazon India Fashion Week spring-summer and autumn-winter 2016 seasons. …

  • Success is becoming the best version of yourself: Hrithik

    Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) After coming out unscathed through all the struggles in his life, actor Hrithik Roshan has nothing but inspiration to offer his fans and says success to him is becoming the best version of one's own self. Success to me is becoming the best version of yourself," Hrithik told IANS. …

  • I am really glad rap music has found some place in Bollywood, says Mickey Singh

    By Ashish Kumar Singh New Delhi, Mar 29 (ANI): Indo American singer Mickey Singh recently discussed the importance of rap and fusion music in Bollywood during his visit to New Delhi. The 'Double Addi' hitmaker spoke exclusively to ANI about his music and the current music trend in Bollywood, saying that he was really glad that rap music had found some place in Bollywood. The American pop sensation said, "Rappers like Badshah and Yo Yo Honey Singh have definitely taken rap music and Indian …

  • Disappointing first quarter, say Bollywood's trade gurus

    Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) With no blockbusters, and a majority of debacles, the first quarter of 2015 has been disappointing for Bollywood box office, say trade gurus, who believe that small fries like "NH10" and "Badlapur" have managed to earn plaudits and profits. It's been an average year so far -- none of the Khans' films released, and the only A-list starrer "Baby", featuring Akshay Kumar, was among the four movies that performed well. This year, there was was no such major film," trade …

  • Reality shows not my thing: Nathalia Kaur

    New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) Brazilian model Nathalia Kaur, who recently stepped out of her comfort zone to perform some action-packed stunts in Indian reality show "Khatron ke Khiladi Darr Ka Blockbuster Returns", says she has no intentions to take part in any other reality show as of now. "Reality shows are not my thing. Films are my focus at the moment," Nathalia told IANS over phone from Mumbai. I think I'm not made for reality shows," she said. …

  • Films on Himachal's wildlife may hit roadblock

    Shimla, March 29 (IANS) Big budget documentaries showcasing Himachal Pradesh's prized wildlife, including the highly endangered pheasant, by Green Oscar winning filmmaker Mike Pandey may hit a roadblock. The wildlife department has decided to give one last chance to the acclaimed filmmaker to seek his view over the inordinate three-year delay in completing four sets of documentaries of 30 minutes each, a senior official told IANS. The government has made a partial payment of Rs.40 lakh to the …

  • Being an actor a torture for skin: Taapsee Pannu

    New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) "Baby" actress Taapsee Pannu, who has signed up an endorsement deal with skincare brand Everyuth, says the acting profession is a "torture" on one's skin -- but with a mix of right food and liquid intake, she keeps herself glowing. What is your take -- should celebrities promote the concept of fairness creams? …

  • Radhika won't do songs that objectify women

    Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) Actress Radhika Apte, who picks content-driven films, says she would not do an item song which objectifies women. Asked if she's willing to do item songs in Bollywood, the "Hunterrr" told IANS: "It all depends on what it is. What is item number? …

Loading...