Oprah beats the One Direction boys
04 September 2013, 08:50
Los Angeles - Lee Daniels' The Butler regained the top slot at the North American box office over the US holiday weekend, according to preliminary figures released by an industry group.
The film about the civil rights era as seen through the eyes of a black White House servant played by Forest Whitaker had briefly lost ground to a documentary about the British boy band One Direction.
But over the four-day weekend the film, which also stars Oprah Winfrey as the butler's wife, grossed more than $20m compared to One Direction: This Is Us, which netted just $18m on its debut, according to Exhibitor Relations.
Monday was the federal Labour Day holiday in the United States, and the final results will not be known until Tuesday.
The concert documentary about the tween sensation has generated lukewarm reviews in the United States, but with an estimated budget of around $10m had been expected to deliver a hugely profitable box-office hit for Sony.
It is directed by Morgan Spurlock, best known for his 2004 fast-food exposé Super Size Me.
In third place was raunchy adult comedy We're the Millers, about drug smugglers posing as a suburban family, including Jennifer Aniston as a stripper, earning $15.9m in theatres.
The fourth spot was claimed by Disney's animated film Planes, a spin-off from Pixar's Cars franchise, which took in $10.7m.
In fifth place was the comedy-drama Instructions Not Included, Eugenio Derbez's movie about a Mexican playboy who is suddenly presented with the child from a previous liaison and forced to become a father. The movie took in $10m.
Sixth place was occupied by science-fiction drama Elysium, the critically acclaimed blockbuster starring Matt Damon about wealthy humans living in an exclusive outer space colony after Earth is ruined.
The film, directed by South Africa's Neill Blomkamp, added another $8.3m to take its four-week total to $80.4m.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a teen-romance demon thriller about a girl who discovers dark secrets from her family's past, dropped four places to seventh with $6.8m.
British action disaster comedy The World's End also slipped down the rankings, falling to eighth place from fourth last week with $6.5m.
Rounding out the top 10 were Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters with $6m and new entrant Getaway, the action thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez, with $5.5m.