This week saw the debut of a trio of buzzy new releases, with Edgar Wright's new comedy "The World's End" going head to head against the latest sly horror slashfest, "You're Next," and this month's "Twilight" du jour, "Mortal Instruments." And the result?
Well, Oprah spanked them all.
Yes, for the second week in a row, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" topped the box office, as Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker's look at the White House through the eyes of the President's butler brought in an estimated $17 million.
In fact, none of the new releases even managed to crack the top two, as the hit comedy "We're the Millers" had another strong hold to hang onto second place with $13.5 million.
That meant that the new releases had to settle for third place ("Mortal Instruments," with $9.3 million over the weekend after a very mediocre Wednesday debut), fourth place ("The World's End," with $8.9 million for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's latest cult team-up) and seventh place ("You're Next," which brought in a somewhat weak $7 million despite strong reviews and solid word of mouth).
Of course, this is typically one of the worst weekends of the year at the box office, so the fact that all three major new releases debuted somewhat softly is no big surprise. Plus, "The World's End" and "You're Next" are both lower budget niche pieces, meaning they will likely turn a profit long-term once they find their audiences.
That effort will be helped by the fact that there are no clear hits in next weekend's crop of movies, which also means "Lee Daniels' The Butler" may have a shot at a rare threepeat. For now, though, here's a look at this weekend's box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Lee Daniels' The Butler" - $17m (our review)
2. "We're the Millers" - $13.5m (our review)
3. "Mortal Instruments" - $9.3m (our review)
4. "The World's End" - $8.9m (our review)
5. "Planes" - $8.6m (our review)
6. "Elysium" - $7.1m (our review)
7. "You're Next" - $7m (our review)
8. "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" - $5.2m (our review)
9. "Blue Jasmine" - $4.3m (our review)
10. "Kick-Ass 2" - $4.3m (our review)