Was Kick-Ass 2 Taken Down by…The Butler?
What originally looked like Kick-Ass 2‘s weekend to lose is now projected to be Lee Daniel’s The Butler by a landslide. The historical drama starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey is now estimated to finished the weekend with at least $24 million in ticket sales.
The Butler beat out all other films on Friday with an estimated $8.3 million and received a stellar CinemaScore of A. The film has also benefitted from positive marks from critics, settling at 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with critic A.O. Scott of the NY Times writing, “A brilliantly truthful film on a subject that is usually shrouded in wishful thinking, mythmongering and outright denial.” The film is already considered an early wards contender among industry veterans.
As reported on Friday, The Butler had been viewed by industry onlookers as a potential wildcard and a title that looked destined to perform better than estimates. The Weinstein Co. had been aggressively promoting the film’s cast which, besides Whitaker and Winfrey, also includes Cuba Gooding Jr., Robin Williams, Jane Fonda, Alan Rickman, Terrence Howard, and John Cusack, and it appears to have paid off. The questions of whether Oprah’s sizable marketing weight and built-in fan-base would impact ticket sales also seems to have been underestimated in early analysis.