Box office: ‘Kick-Ass 2’ off to a good start at late Thursday showings

This weekend’s box office battle will be fought between a superhero and a butler. 

“Kick-Ass 2” racked up a handsome $1.3 million in its Thursday night debut, but Lee Daniels’ prestigious all-star “The Butler, which opens today, will put up a good fight for the No. 1 slot this weekend.

Both films are expected to earned somewhere n the $18  million – $20 million range.

2010’2 “Kick-Ass” debuted to $19.8 million on its way to earning nearly $100 million worldwide on a budget of approximately $30. The new film is also based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., and features returning stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Grace Moretz, plus newcomer Jim Carrey.

A handful of other new films are opening today as well, including the Ashton Kutcher-as-Steve Jobs film “Jobs,” and the thriller “Paranoia,” starring Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Amber Heard and Harrison Ford. Neither film is likely be a contender for the top spot, however. 
Meanwhile, last weekend’s top two earners — the Matt Damon sci-fi film “Elysium” and the comedy “We’re the Millers”  — will likely continue to do well in their second weekend of play.