In what will very likely be its last day at the top of the daily box office, Lee Daniels' The Butler led the way on Thursday with $1.13 million. The awards season hopeful from The Weinstein Company was up a healthy 7 percent over Wednesday and down 34 percent from last Thursday. The Butler was the week's top film with a weekly take of $23.74 million. That was down a very slim 1 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's three-week total to a strong $83.00 million. The Butler is now just $17.00 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone.
Turning towards this weekend, Universal's Riddick was off to a solid late night start on Thursday. The third installment of the Vin Diesel led sci-fi franchise grossed an estimated $0.90 million from late night shows that began at 8 p.m. As is commonplace, those grosses are expected to be counted towards Friday's opening day performance. Given the size of its late night start, Riddick shouldn't have any problem taking first place at the box office this weekend.
We're the Millers placed in second on Thursday with $0.797 million. Warner's break-out comedy fell 4 percent from Wednesday and 37 percent from last Thursday. It should be noted that most non-family films experienced significant daily percentage declines on Thursday, thanks in part to the new evening competition from Riddick and in part to the competition from the opening night game of the NFL season. We're the Miller placed in third for the week with $18.97 million. That was up 1 percent over the previous week and brings the film's 30-day total to $115.92 million.
Lionsgate's Instructions Not Included continued its impressive start on Thursday with a third place take of $0.559 million. The low-budget Eugenio Derbez comedy vehicle averaged $1,607 from 348 locations for the day. Instructions Not Included placed in fourth this week with an unexpectedly strong $12.21 million seven-day start. Instructions Not Included is widely expected to hold up very well this weekend thanks to strong early word of mouth and an expansion into an additional 369 locations today.
Sony's One Direction: This Is Us was up 11 percent and one spot over Wednesday to place in fourth on Thursday with $0.429 million. While most films aimed at adults experienced poor daily holds on Thursday, films aimed at younger moviegoers held up quite nicely for the day. One Direction: This Is Us placed in second for the week with a seven-day start of $19.89 million. That was towards the lower end of pre-release expectations, but the film was extremely front-loaded this week towards its $8.87 million opening day performance, which obviously isn't a good sign going forward.