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LOS ANGELES (AFP) – “The Butler,” about an African American who watches civil rights history in the making as a White House butler, debuted at the top of the North American box office, estimates showed Sunday.

Directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forrest Whitaker in the title role, the historical drama pulled in over $25 million over the weekend, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

That performance eclipsed science-fiction thriller “Elysium,” last week’s top earner, which fell to third place behind “We’re the Millers,” a Jennifer Aniston comedy.

“We’re the Millers” held the number two spot with a box office take of nearly $17.8 million on its second weekend in theaters.

“Elysium,” which stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, brought in $13.6 million.

In its first week in theaters, “Kick-Ass 2,” the superhero action comedy sequel, ranked fourth with $13.5 million in weekend sales.

“Planes,” a spin-off of the hugely successful “Cars” franchise, landed in fifth place on its second weekend out, raking in $13.1 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 an estimated $8.4 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 7th 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 theaters, making $5.6 million.

Ninth went to “The Smurfs 2” with $4.6 million in ticket sales, while “The Wolverine,” with Hugh Jackman, clung to tenth, making $4.4 million.

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