‘Last Exorcism’ & ‘Takers’ possess B.O.

090973H1.jpgLionsgate makes it three consecutive weekends at the top of the box office chart as “The Last Exorcism” knocks their own “The Expendables” out of first place with a bigger-than-expected $21.3 million.  It finally took the devil and a young girl to scare Mr. Stallone and his very popular pumped up posse into third place for the weekend, but no matter as $82.1 million in domestic revenue make the R-rated action saga a righteous late summer winner.

The ensemble cast of Sony’s “Takers” also did some damage this weekend with Paul Walker, Chris Brown, Matt Dillon and company taking the second spot in a tight race for first with a box office heist that yielded $21.0 million in cold hard cash and as if we didn’t have enough, even more testosterone to the theatrical marketplace.  A terrific marketing campaign that much like “The Expendables” highlighted the individual cast members brought out action fans in solid numbers.

This leaves third place to “The Expendables” with a $9.5 million third weekend haul.  Even in their third weekend, the grizzled stars of the film have proven to be surprisingly potent at attracting both male and female audiences to theatres and a tiny third weekend drop of 44% makes the point.

Sony’s “Eat Pray Love,” remains a top five mainstay with a small 42% drop and a weekend gross of $7.0 million.  Having crossed the $50 million mark on Tuesday, the film has shown surprising staying power despite critical jabs as resolute female fans continue to show their support for the Julia Roberts film to the tune of $60.7 million.

Fifth place belongs to “The Other Guys” which gives Sony its third film in the top five with an impressive fourth weekend total $6.6 million.  The Will Farrell, Mark Wahlberg action-comedy will soon become the 12th $100 million film of the summer with a to-date total of $99.3 million.  

Last week’s newcomers including Fox’s “Vampires Suck,” Warner Bros.’ “Lottery Ticket” and Weinstein Co.’s “Piranha 3D” all found themselves taking percentage drops that put them outside of the top five.

In the 12th spot, Fox brought back “Avatar” in a special edition and earned a solid $4 million in just 812 theatres and in the process kicked the highest grossing film of all time to $753,766,139 in record domestic revenue and the best per-theatre average in the Top 12 of any film except the other newcomers.  IMAX in just 122 theatres brought in 40% of the gross with $1.6 million.  That’s impressively 40% of the gross in one-seventh the number of total theatres.

Labor Day is just around the corner and thus the conclusion of what was arguably a very underwhelming summer movie season.  Still, there were some bright spots and we still have Focus Feature’s ‘The American,’ Fox’s ‘Machete’ and Warner Bros.’ ‘Going the Distance’ to look forward to for Labor Day weekend.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, President of Hollywood.com Box Office Paul Dergarabedian loves movies of course, but has a true passion for music, art, photography and architecture. Stanley Kubrick is a God even though like Orson Welles’ 'Citizen Kane, his '2001: A Space Odyssey' is overrated but still brilliant! Little known fact: Paul is a certified car fanatic and was a National Collegiate Driving Champion in the late 80's!