According to variety.com, three new 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 only fell 31% in its second weekend, for a projected $17 million through Sunday. The Weinstein Co.-distributed movie has earned north of $52 million so far.
The holdover success of Lee Daniels’ The Butler can be largely attributed to its broadening audience: Last weekend, the film earned 76% of its gross from audiences over 35, while in its second weekend, that share shrunk to 63%. Moreover, African-Americans contributed a weighty 39% of the film’s opening; just 33% of its total this weekend came from black viewers. The film’s playability mirrors the stronghold that The Help had on the box office this time two years ago.