Box Office Report: 'The Butler' Surges Past 'Kick-Ass 2'; 'Jobs' Headed for iFlop

The racial drama, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, is taking an early lead with $8-9 million on its opening day.

Lee Daniels' The Butler is moving quickly to claim the top spot at the box office this weekend, while Jobs, a biopic about late Apple founder Steve Jobs, is turning into something of an iFlop.

Kick-Ass 2 took in a promising $1. 2 million Thursday night, but while most box-office observers had predicted the movie about teenage superheroes, which cost about $28 million, would enjoy a slight edge over The Butler, preliminary estimates suggest it will be overshadowed by the racial drama.

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The Butler, produced for $30 million, entered the crowded late-summer fray with more advance ticket sales than any of the weekend's other three new wide releases. And strong showings at matinee screenings point to a Friday gross for the film of an estimated $8-9 million and a weekend haul of around $25 million, well above prerelease estimates for The Weinstein Co. release, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.

Kick-Ass 2, a Universal release directed by Jeff Wadlow and with a cast that includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jim Carrey, is looking as if it is headed for a three-day haul in the $17-20 million range. The original Kick-Ass, released in 2010, opened to just under $20 million.

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The modest Jobs, produced at a cost of $15 million, starring Ashton Kutcher and directed by Joshua Michael Stern, is lagging behind the other two new openers. The Open Road release produced by Endgame Entertainment and Five Star, will probably have to settle for about $8 million over the course of the weekend.

Trailing even farther behind is the weekend's fourth new release, Robert Luketic's $35 million thriller Paranoia, starring Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford, was produced and financed  by IM Global and Demarest Films. It is looking as if it will take in just $4-5 million over the course of the weekend.