'Butler' tops N. America box office

'Butler' tops N. America box office
Actor Forest Whitaker (L) and TV Personality Oprah Winfrey arrive at the premiere of "Lee Daniels' The Butler".

LOS ANGELES - Lee Daniels' "The Butler," about an African American who witnesses decades of US history as a White House servant, debuted at the top of the North American box office, final figures showed Monday.

The historical drama, which stars Forest Whitaker in the title role and Oprah Winfrey as his wife, pulled in US$24.6 million (S$31.3 million) over the weekend, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

"We're the Millers," a dark comedy about pot-smuggling starring Jennifer Aniston as a stripper, finished in second place with $18 million.

Last week's top earner, science-fiction thriller "Elysium" starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, dropped to third place at $13.7 million.

Animated film "Planes," a spin-off of the hugely successful "Cars" franchise, landed in fourth place, raking in $13.4 million, just ahead of superhero sequel "Kick-Ass 2," which debuted at $13.3 million.

"Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," an adaptation based on the book series by Rick Riordan about a schoolboy who is the son of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon, made $8.8 million, dropping to sixth place from fourth last week.

"Jobs," the biopic with Ashton Kutcher in the role of Apple founder Steve Jobs, opened over the weekend in seventh place, with $6.7 million in box office receipts.

The Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg action comedy "2 Guns" slid to eighth place after three weeks in theatres, making $5.8 million.

Ninth went to "The Smurfs 2" with $4.8 million in ticket sales, while "The Wolverine," with Hugh Jackman, clung to tenth, making $4.5 million.

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