Once again Lee Daniels’
The Butler
was the No.1 film this weekend with $17 million and a total-to-date B.O. gross of over $52
and, once again, I predicted it. Can’t say I’m surprised considering
that every single person I’ve talked to so far who has seen the film has told
me that the audience was emotional and crying by the end of it.

And with only one limited release from Focus Features scheduled to open this Friday,
The Butler is almost certain to be No.1 for the third weekend in a row next week.

That says to me that the film has incredible
word-of-mouth, which means some very long B.O. 
legs, and is poised to do easily $100
domestically. What it does beyond that is anyone’s guess.

If that happens, it would make Lee Daniels the first African-American
director in a while who’s made a film that has reached the golden $100 million milestone

Which made me wonder, what other African American
directors have done that? First one who comes to mind is Tim Story, for sure. Antoine
Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen
did just a shade under $99 million, so let’s cut him a little slack and say he did.

Poitier’s 1980
comedy Stir
with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder made $101 million, which, back in 1980, was a staggering amount and an
extremely rare achievement.  And if you
adjust that in  2013 dollars, that would
be an unbelievable $307 million

What other AA directors can you name? I know there must
be others. It’s just too early in the morning to think of some right now. Help
me out.

And I know who you’re thinking of…. Tyler Perry,  but nope. The
closest he’s ever gotten was $90.5
for 2009’s Medea’s Goes To
. Close, but no cigar, and he’s never remotely come that close before or

The Twilight/Hunger
wanna-be, The Mortal Instruments:
City of Bones
, pretty much tanked, while  Edgar
Wright’s The World’s End
did solid business, puling in $9 million on just only 1500
, which means Focus Features should have had more confidence in
the film and opened it up wider.

the Millers
has become a genuine summer sleeper, despite
predictions from B.O. analysts that it would be a flop. It is going to easily sail past $100 million and go well beyond that.

Meanwhile, the horror/slasher film You’re Next, which was thought to be The Butler’s major competitor
this weekend, underperformed, coming in seventh.

1) Lee Daniels’ The Butler Wein. $17,018,000 Total: $52,275,000 
2) We’re the Millers WB $13,500,000  Total: $91,740,000 
3) The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones SGem $9,300,000 Total: $14,051,000 
4) The World’s End Focus $8,942,000 
5) Planes BV $8,567,000 Total: $59,591,000 
6) Elysium TriS $7,100,000 Total: $69,054,000 
7) You’re Next LGF $7,050,000 
8) Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Fox $5,200,000 Total: $48,346,000  
9) Blue Jasmine SPC $4,300,000 Total:  $14,799,000 
10) Kick-Ass 2 Uni. $4,270,000 Total: $22,423,000 
11) 2 Guns Uni. $3,387,000 Total: $65,382,000 
12) Jobs ORF $3,001,000 Total: $12,144,000