On the heels of falling to second place on Wednesday, Lee Daniels' The Butler returned to first place on Thursday with $2.45 million for the day. The modestly budgeted drama from The Weinstein Company starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey was up a slim 1 percent over Wednesday. The Butler was the week's top film with a strong seven-day start of $35.26 million. That was a bit ahead of pre-release expectations and places the film just 2 percent behind the $36.03 million seven-day start of 42 earlier this year. With not much expected from this weekend's three new wide releases, The Butler will have a strong chance of claiming first place once again over the weekend.
Warner's We're the Millers was also up one spot from Wednesday to claim second on Thursday with $1.98 million. The break-out comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis was up 3 percent over Wednesday and down 33 percent from last Thursday. We're the Millers placed in second for the week with $26.51 million. That was down 34 percent from last week's performance and brings the 16-day total for the modestly budgeted film to an impressive $78.24 million. We're the Millers is currently just $21.76 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone.
After placing in first on Wednesday, Sony's The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was down two spots and a sharp 42 percent to place in third with $1.75 million on Thursday. Thursday's percentage decline is an early indication of front-loading, which isn't a good sign for the film heading into the weekend. In comparison, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters fell 38 percent on its first Thursday to take in $3.40 million, while 2010's Vampires Suck declined 42 percent to gross $2.35 million. The Mortal Instruments has grossed a soft $4.75 million in two days, placing the film 46 percent below the $8.86 million two-day start of Sea of Monsters and 25 percent below the $6.36 million two-day take of Vampires Suck. Both comparisons suggest that The Mortal Instruments will open a bit below the $10 million mark over the weekend.
Disney's Planes was up one spot and a healthy 18 percent over Wednesday to place in fourth with $1.44 million. Family films in general experienced strong daily increases on Thursday. Planes placed in fourth for the week with $19.07 million, which was down 40 percent from the film's opening week performance. Planes surpassed the $50 million mark yesterday and has grossed $51.02 million through 14 days of release.
Sony's Elysium was down one spot and 1 percent from Wednesday to round out Thursday's top five with $1.26 million. The sci-fi film starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster took third place this week with $19.64 million. That was down 54 percent from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to a so-so $61.95 million.
Kick-Ass 2 wrapped up its disappointing first week in theatres with a sixth place take of $0.897 million. Universal's modestly budgeted superhero sequel was down 9 percent from Wednesday. Kick-Ass 2 grossed $18.15 million in its first week of release to place in fifth for the frame. The film is running a very underwhelming 28 percent behind the $25.37 million seven-day start of 2010's Kick-Ass.