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Box Office Update 8/27-8/29: Takers Edges Out The Last Exorcism

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It was a dog fight to the finish as this weekend’s two new wide releases came in neck and neck. On Sunday when the estimates began to appear, most had The Last Exorcism on top. However, no one could deny that the numbers were too close to definitively call ,and it took until Monday’s release of the weekend actuals for the true winner to emerge. The ensemble heist film Takers ultimately took the top spot, but not by much. The margin of victory was less than $150,000. Not much at all.

Takers did not interest me all that much; I believe I would have a hard time dealing with the charismatic black hole that is sure to occur whenever Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen share the screen. Besides that, the movie just felt so familiar in the trailers and I just didn’t go see it. On the other hand, I did go see The Last Exorcism, that is a film I found to be rather exceptional. Now, it is sure to split the audience; it is that sort of movie, but I thought it was wonderfully executed, successfully used the “found-footage” formula, and actually told the story intelligently and came at it from a different angle than one would expect.

Third place was held by The Expendables. The Stallone film slipped nearly 44% in its third weekend as it continues its quest to reach $100 million. The movie is a blast. It makes no bones about what it is: it is a testosterone driven action film with a few of the biggest names in the genre getting together to have some fun. Think of it as the Ocean’s 11 for action.

This time of year there really is not much to report when it comes to the box office chart. Moves have lower expectations, weekend totals are smaller, and there is little genuine excitement. With that said, I have to say that I am sad to see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World do so poorly. Yes, it is a bizarre little movie, but it is so wonderfully executed, terribly engaging, and just so much fun that it deserves to do a lot better than it has. As it is, it has dropped off the top ten list in only its third weekend. Also, Piranha 3D is a pure blast of old school exploitation, blood, and gratuitous nudity run rampant in this cinematic blast of fun that deserves to be doing better than it is. All of this is made more troubling still when you consider that Vampires Suck is doing better than both.

Next weekend will see George Clooney play an assassin in The American. More important than that, we will see another dose of exploitation/grindhousey goodness in Machete; Danny Trejo plays a pissed off Mexican in this film from Robert Rodriguez. Last but not least is Going the Distance, a long distance romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long.

Two movies dropped off the list this week: Lottery Ticket (12) and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (14).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Takers $20,512,304 $20,512,304 1
2 N The Last Exorcism $20,366,613 $20,366,613 1
3 1 The Expendables $9,527,937 $82,040,183 3
4 3 Eat Pray Love $6,815,555 $60,531,326 3
5 5 The Other Guys $6,285,712 $99,018,172 4
6 2 Vampires Suck $5,221,780 $27,834,256 2
7 9 Inception $4,876,356 $270,519,920 7
8 8 Nanny McPhee Returns $4,714,215 $16,991,285 2
9 7 The Switch $4,583,481 $16,410,009 2
10 6 Piranha 3D $4,302,878 $18,266,889 2

Box Office Predictions Recap
Not so good for either side of the chart this week. Actually it is downright terrible. I got one position right (number 3) and two gross figures (numbers 3 and 4) in the right ballpark. Aside from those few spots, this week’s chart is a complete and utter mess, from my wildly over and under estimations to my inability to get any positions it is just flat out ugly. I guess I should take this as a distinct sign of the changing seasons.

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