Forest Whitaker did his best Forrest Gump impression this weekend and fans turned out in droves to see his portrayal of a butler who knew every important figure in American history over the past half century, as "Lee Daniels' The Butler" debuted atop the box office chart with an estimated $25 million.
That number was helped, no doubt, by co-star Oprah Winfrey and her media machine, as The Big O went into overdrive pushing the biopic. Unfortunately for the other three new releases this weekend, none of them starred Oprah, leading to a nationwide epidemic of complete floppage.
Leading the way with one of the most epic flops in recent memory was "Paranoia." Despite featuring acting legends Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, not to mention "The Hunger Games" heartthrob Liam Hemsworth, the thriller debuted to an embarrassing $3.6 million total, not even enough to make the top ten. One thing that probably didn't help the picture was the 4% rating it received on Rotten Tomatoes. Yikes.
But "Paranoia" wasn't the only new release to tank spectacularly. The Ashton Kutcher vehicle "Jobs," which has been getting a steady online push from Apple groupies for months now, earned a disappointing $6.7 million. Siri, tell me what a flop is.
And the superhero sequel "Kick-Ass 2" did anything but kick ass, debuting at number three on the charts with $13.6 million. That's less than the $19.8 million first "Kick-Ass" made in its debut weekend back in 2010. Given that the original barely broke even before picking up steam on DVD, it seems that the sequel will also have to look to the aftermarket for any hope of turning a profit.
Next weekend should be interesting, as quirky releases "You're Next" and "The World's End" go up against "The Mortal Instruments," the latest pre-fab teen fantasy trying to grab the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" crowd. For now, though, here's the box office top ten in all its gory detail, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Lee Daniels' The Butler" - $25m (our review)
2. "We're the Millers" - $17.8m (our review)
3. "Elysium" - $13.6m (our review)
4. "Kick-Ass 2" - $13.6m (our review)
5. "Planes" - $13.1m (our review)
6. "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" - $8.4m (our review)
7. "Jobs" - $6.7m
8. "2 Guns" - $5.6m (our review)
9. "Smurfs 2" - $4.6m (our review)
10. "The Wolverine" - $4.4m (our review)