Ethnic history scores at the Box Office

leedaniels_thebutlerFor the second straight weekend the film “Lee Daniels The Butler” was number one at the box office pulling in $17 million dollars. The films current haul is $52.3 million which at this pace gives it a chance to break $100 million in just a few weeks.


Lee Daniels The Butler tells the story of a White House butler who served seven American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.


Director Lee Daniels describes his film as the black version of Forrest Gump. The cast packs a powerful punch including Academy Award Winner Forest Whitaker starring as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, and many more. Academy Award® nominated Lee Daniels (Precious) directs and Emmy®-award winning Danny Strong (Game Change) wrote the script.


After the Summer’s assault of roller coaster action flicks it is heartening to see movie going audiences pick a subtle, historical movie about an American butler and helping it stay on top for 2 weekends in a row. August has been considered a dumping ground for films that couldn’t make in other times of the year but audiences seemed to have had their say otherwise with Lee Daniels The Butler.


42_jackierobinsonThis also comes just a couple of months after the biopic of Jackie Robinson “42″ scored a box-office topping debut weekend and besting all other baseball films opening weekends with $27.5 million.


The life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey (portrayed by actor Harrison Ford). 42, which was produced by Legendary Pictures for $40 million, stars newcomer Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson. The film scored an A+ with audiences which were urban, Baby Boomers and women. The story of Robinson’s breaking of pro baseball’s color barrier wound up just shy of $100 million with a total haul of $95 million. The movie is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.


It goes without saying that the films that top the box office are the ones Hollywood will deliver again and again. Here’s to hoping more historical pictures celebrating the best stories of men and women of all classes, colors and creeds will get greenlit if the box office says so.


For more information:



Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Official Trailer 

42 Official Trailer (2013) – Jackie Robinson Story 

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