Weekend Box Office: “Butler” beats back “Mortals,” “World’s End,” “You’re Next” bombs

The only new opening this weekend at the movies that’s performing off par is “You’re Next,” a superior slasher picture that should have ridden decent reviews and a reliable fanbase to a $15 million+ opening weekend.

And it isn’t. Based on Friday’s numbers, it’ll be lucky to do $8.

That’s where “The World’s End,” one of the summer’s funniest comedies but also with a distinctly (and limiting) Anglophile-Simon Pegg-Nick Frost appeal should end up — $8. That audience is aging out of cinema-going, I guess, as they hit their 40s with Simon and Nick.

“The Mortal Instruments” took a beating from critics (not awful, just silly, derivative and superfluous) and has done nothing to suggest that Screen Gems made a smart move in picking up the franchise (a second movie already has a release date) or in opening in at the end of the summer. This would have done much better with critics and audiences in April. It’ll come close to $14 million, maybe a bit better based on Saturday kid appeal (maybe much better, as kids are in school and didn’t go during the week).

“The Butler” is doing well in a weak field and should win the weekend with another $15 million+ take. That would get it over $50, probably not on a pace to reach $100 million or stick around deep into September and thus get Oprah her undeserved Oscar.

The real surprise of this late in the season is “We’re the Millers,” an inferior comedy with Jennifer Aniston stripping and Jason Sudeikis quipping. It was well behind “Elysium” upon opening, and has stuck around the top three ever since.

Weak reviews, not that great an opening, and it’s still on track to hit $100 million by Labor Day.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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