Box Office: ‘The American’ Takes The Long Weekend

George Clooney still has it, at least for this weekend.  His latest film The American made an estimated $13M over the weekend, which was good enough for a first place finish.

Labor Day weekend is typically very slow, so believe it or not, that is a healthy box office total. The real shocker is how audiences responded to the film. Cinemascore is a tracking system used to tally audience response to a film.  Exit polls are used as indicators of a film’s longevity at the box office. The American earned a shocking D- grade, meaning audiences really hated it.  It garnered an F from women. (You can read our positive take on the film here.)

Of course, mis marketing the film as an action movie no doubt led to lots of false expectations.  It’s a good film but a tough sell. It is a deliberately paced pot-boiler character study.  Those looking for a jolting action flick probably found themselves snoozing in no time.

Holdover Takers landed the number two spot with $11.5M.   Machete was hot on its heels with an estimated $11.3M.  Considering how graphically violent the movie was, this is a pretty good take, plus its reported budget was only $20M, so it should easily earn back its budget.

The Last Exorcism sunk like  a stone, losing over 60% of its audience from last weekend for $7.6M.   Don’t shed any tears for the movie, though.  It had a micro-budget of $1.8M, and to date has made over $32M.  It will be just fine.

Romantic comedies continue to have a rocky road at the box office.  Drew Barrymore’s Going the Distance only managed  to make $6.9M, despite opening on a robust 3,000+ screens.  This is shortly after Jennifer Aniston’s The Switch failed to make a blip at the box office.

Also of note: The Expendables is closing in on $100M ($92.2 total after four weeks in release.)

Let’s all say goodbye to the less than stellar summer movie season of 2010 and start looking forward to the Oscar-bait of fall.  Well, maybe in a few weeks.  Next week the big release is Resident Evil: Afterlife; with Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter.

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