Looks like Lee Daniels' The Butler is the runaway hit of the year. The historical drama scored a three-peat this weekend, topping the box office for the third weekend in a row with an estimated $20 million in ticket sales. The Butler is the first film of the year to get three consecutive first place finishes.
The film, starring Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, easily beat out One Direction's This Is Us, the concert film that was also aiming for first place. Amazingly, The Butler increased its ticket sales by 21% even though second-and third-week declines are common even for very successful films.
Other big news at the box office was the success of Instructions Not Included, a Spanish-language film starring Eugenio Derbez that grossed $10 million at the box office. The film was the highest-grossing Spanish film at at the US box office of all time.
Less lucky was Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez's Getaway. Not only has the film suffered absolutely scathing reviews (some analysts say the worst movie in recent years), but it grossed only $5.5 million. This doesn't bode well for Gomez's budding acting career. The singer indicated recently that she plans to put music aside to focus on films.
Let's see if The Butler can hold on to the top spot next week when it goes up against Vin Diesel's Riddick.
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(Photo: The Weinstein Company)