The Butler Becomes First Film of 2013 To Three-Peat At Box Office

Source: Tommy Christopher / Mediaite

During a record-breaking Labor Day Weekend for Hollywood, Lee Daniels’ The Butler led the way with an estimated $20 million over the long weekend, edging out boy-band One Direction‘sThis is Us to become the first film of 2013 to hold the top spot at the box office for three consecutive weekends. With nearly $80 million in the bank, compared to its $30 million budget,The Butler is well-positioned to surpass $100 million at the box office, and catapult its director past its star into the top ten highest-grossing black directors of all time.

One Direction: This is Us edged The Butler over the three-day Friday-Sunday frame, but as Box Office Guru’s Gitesh Pandya explains, that’s not how the movie biz measures holiday weekends:

Moviegoers ended their summer by spreading dollars across a wide variety of films helping the North American box office deliver a record-breaking Labor Day holiday frame. An astonishing 26 different films grossed more than $1M over the Friday-to-Monday weekend with two of them making a legitimate claim to the number one spot. Traditionally, the holiday is judged by the four-day period which saw the popular White House drama The Butler spend its third consecutive term in the top position. However over the three-day Friday-to-Sunday period, the rapidly-eroding boy band doc One Direction: This Is Us was the leader. Regardless, the box office broke the old Labor Day weekend record set back in 2007 as the Top 20 grossed over $140M across four days.

The durable White House drama The Butler was once again the most popular draw in its third term with word-of-mouth continuing to take the film out to new audiences. The Weinstein Co. hit took in an estimated $20M over four days upping the cume to a robust $79.3M. The Friday-to-Sunday portion dipped by only 10%. Look for a final tally of about $120M making it the surprise winner of this year’s big race between White House flicks beating out big-budget action pics Olympus Has Fallen($98.9M) and White House Down ($72.4M). Butler is the first film of 2013 to spend three weeks at number one. The last movie to threepeat was The Hobbit in December.

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