A trio of counterprogramming wide releases, led by Sony-Screen Gems' Y/A adaptation "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," with an estimated $14.1 million in five days, were no match for "Lee Daniels' The Butler," which fell a scant 31% in its second weekend, for a projected $17 million through Sunday. The Weinstein Co.-distributed pic has cumed north of $52 million and counting.
Despite the lack of sizable-grossing openers, the domestic box office continued its year-over-year streak, up approximately 15% over 2012.
Focus Features' apocalyptic-themed spoof comedy "The World's End" did its best to keep the overall momentum going; the film debuted with a solid $8.9 million from only 1,549 theaters. By comparison, "City of Bones," which bowed at more than twice that many locations, grossed a modest $9.3 million Friday-Sunday. Sony launched the teen girl-targeted film midweek hoping to attract teens still on summer break.
Also bowing this weekend, Lionsgate's horror pic "You're Next" grossed a meager $7.1 million in three days. Pic likely was affected adversely by coming after the summer's previous horror offerings, "The Purge" and "The Conjuring."
Like with "The Butler," which is satisfying a summer-long drought of adult-skewing dramas, Sony Pictures Classics' "Blue Jasmine" expanded to more than 1,200 screens this weekend, grossing a solid estimated $4.3 million. The Woody Allen pic has grossed so far nearly $15 million domestically.
In limited release, Cinedigm's SXSW festival winner "Short Term 12" averaged a decent $15,034 from four locations in New York and L.A. The distrib plans to expand the film into the top 25 U.S. markets during the next few weeks.
Related storiesSimon Pegg, E.L. James Party at the Pub for the 'The World's End'Box Office: 'The Butler' Looks to Serve Up $18 Million WeekendBox Office: 'Mortal Instruments' Looking Out of Tune With Less Than $20 Million for 5 Days © 2013 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLCCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun