Lee Daniels’ The Butler starring Forest Whitaker and media maven Oprah Winfrey strikes box office gold, earning $25 million and finishing first, ahead of big budget releases: Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher as Apple genius Steve Jobs (7th place, earning $6.7 million) and Kick-Ass 2 featuring Morris Chestnut and Donald Faison (4th place, earning $13.6 million).
Churchgoers are credited with pushing this film to the top. “While the biggest numbers came from the larger markets, proportionately the mid- and smaller-sized towns over-indexed, which can be attributable to some extent to the outreach that we did to the faith-based groups,” says Erik Lomis, president of distribution for The Weinstein Co.
Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Atlanta and Chicago are key markets credited for the success of the film’s ticket sales and large number of advance tickets.
In targeting this demo, TWC’s marketing team created a scripture guide and faith-oriented trailer.
Final figures will publish Monday, Aug. 19, 2013.