LOS ANGELES, USA - "The Butler," about an African-American who witnesses civil rights history from the viewpoint of the White House where he works, debuted at the top of the North American box office, estimates showed Sunday, August 18.
Directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forest Whitaker in the title role and Oprah Winfrey, the historical drama pulled in over $25 million over the weekend, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.
That performance eclipsed science-fiction thriller "Elysium," last week's top earner, which fell to 3rd place behind "We're the Millers," a Jennifer Aniston comedy.
"We're the Millers" held the number two spot with a box office take of nearly $17.8 million on its second weekend in theaters.
"Elysium," which stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, brought in $13.6 million.
In its first week in theaters, "Kick-Ass 2," the superhero action comedy sequel, ranked 4th with $13.5 million in weekend sales.
"Planes," a spin-off of the hugely successful "Cars" franchise, landed 5th place on its second weekend, raking in $13.1 million.
"Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," an adaptation based on the book series by Rick Riordan Jr. about a schoolboy who finds he's the son of the Greek sea god, Poseidon, made an estimated $8.4 million, dropping to 6th place from 4th last week.
"Jobs," the biopic with Ashton Kutcher in the role of Apple founder Steve Jobs, opened over the weekend in 7th place, with $6.7 million in box-office receipts.
The Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg action comedy "2 Guns" slid to 8th place after 3 weeks in theaters, making $5.6 million.
9th went to "The Smurfs 2" with $4.6 million in ticket sales, and "The Wolverine," with Hugh Jackman, clung to 10th, making $4.4 million.
Watch the trailer of 'The Butler' here: