Starring Forest Whitaker as a White House employee who served eight presidents, "Butler" got off to a robust start last weekend, debuting at No. 1 with $24.6 million. The Lee Daniels-directed picture should secure the top spot again during its second weekend in theaters, collecting at least $12 million, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
Meanwhile, the three new films hitting the box office nationwide are not poised to make much of a splash.
"The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," a teen-aimed fantasy flick based on a popular young adult novel, opened Wednesday in an effort to generate positive buzz before the weekend. It doesn't appear that move will pay off, though. The film grossed $3 million on its first day in release and is expected to make a lackluster total of $14 million through Sunday evening.
That means "Mortal Instruments" will likely gross between $8 million and $10 million between Friday and Sunday -- the same amount the British comedy "The World's End" and the horror film "You're Next" are expected to start off with.
In other words: It'll be a tight race for the runner-up position.
If "Mortal Instruments" does not exceed industry projections this weekend, its German financial backer Constantin Film may be particularly disappointed. The company, which spent $60 million to produce the film and another $60 million to market it abroad, is already in pre-production on a sequel set to shoot this fall. Sony Pictures' Screen Gems label, which is distributing the first film in the U.S. this weekend, paid to advertise the movie stateside.
Written by Cassandra Clare, the five-book "Mortal Instruments" series has sold 24 million copies worldwide. But in the wake of the massive success of the "Twilight" franchise, several movies adapted from young adult novels have failed to connect with moviegoers. Though "The Hunger Games" series is a hit, "Beautiful Creatures" and "The Host" tanked at the box office this year.
In the first "Mortal Instruments" movie, Lily Collins plays protagonist Clary Fray, a teenager who discovers she is part of a clan of demon chasers. The film has received by far the worst reviews of any of the weekend's new debuts, notching a 16% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, those who saw the movie Wednesday liked it more than critics, assigning the movie an average grade of B-plus, according to market research firm CinemaScore.
More about You're Next and World's End at the SOURCE
Dying at the predicted 14 mill for the weekend, I hope it's declared as a flop the way God intended and the plug is pulled on the sequel
ETA: And in before Why does everyone hate this?