BOX OFFICE: ‘The American’ Beats ‘Machete’

The Friday through Sunday total for the top 12 movies was the lowest it has been all year for the traditionally slow Labor Day weekend. Despite those low numbers, two of this weekend’s new releases are among the top ten highest Labor Day weekend grosses of all-time. Even the cold and rainy weather that most of the country faced over the weekend wasn’t enough to get people into the theatres to see the new batch of openers. Here are the 3-day totals for Labor Day weekend:

Box Office Estimates
September 3-5, 2010

1) The American (2,823 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $13.13 million

On paper, this is not the type of movie that should finish number one at the Box Office and if it were anybody other than George Clooney in the lead, I imagine it wouldn’t even get a wide release. However, Clooney’s undeniable star power and the fact that the movie was marketed as a shoot-em-up thriller are what carried this movie to success in its opening weekend. It also has the 4th highest Labor Day weekend of all-time despite the fact that it barely made over $10 million.

2) Machete (2,670 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $11.43 million

Despite the star power within this film, its exploitation and brutality likely turned a lot of people off. It was just lower than The American in overall gross and it was also behind, but closer in per theatre average. The film will likely decline quickly in the coming weeks, as will the rest of the films that premiered this weekend.

3) Takers (2,206 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $10.9 million

I have zero interest to see this movie so I take for granted that others apparently do. The per theatre average for Takers is actually higher than both Machete and The American. It only declined steadily this weekend relative to the other films that premiered last week, so it may still have a few more weeks of strength in it.

4) The Last Exorcism (2,874 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $7.41 million

With the biggest weekly decline of 63.6% this horror film lost a lot of traction in its second week. However, it has already more than made up for its micro-budget and it seems to have found a niche audience. This is a film that I expect to be pretty successful when it eventually gets a DVD release.

5) Going the Distance (3,030 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $6.9 million

No surprise that this romantic comedy did poorly despite the marketing team’s best efforts to show the supporting male comedic actors. I have been enjoying some Schadenfreude as the 2010 romantic comedies seem to be coming in as flop after flop. Hopefully this will send the studios back to the drawing board and get them to recalculate the constantly reused formula. Wishful thinking.

6) The Expendables (3,398 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $6.65 million

After one more weekend this Sylvester Stallone action film should have surpassed the $100 million mark. This should help the case for the sequel, which will allegedly star Bruce Willis in a more significant role.

7) The Other Guys (2,607 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $5.3 million

This week it easily surpassed $100 million to become one of the most successful comedies of the year. The past several weeks it has only been declining gradually so it will probably be able to hold on for at least one more weekend.

8) Eat Pray Love (2,663 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $4.8 million

The minuscule per theatre average that Eat Pray Love had this weekend indicates that when its theatre count declines, it will drop fast. Julia Roberts is not the uber star that she once was and this film’s only mildly successful performance demonstrates that.

9) Inception (1,704 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $4.55 million

Over the last two weekends Inception has gone from 9th to 7th and now back to 9th only having decreased 6.7% and its per theatre average is higher than every film ahead of it except for the top three. It’s still a long shot from reaching the $300 million mark, but it’s definitely one of the success stories of this lackluster summer.

10) Nanny McPhee Returns (2,708 theatres)
Weekend Gross: $3.51 million

She returned and nobody seemed to care.

[Source for Estimates: Box Office Mojo | Image: Beyond Hollywood]

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  • I’m so happy for Anton Corjbin and The American :D

  • It sounds like the American was falsely advertised to be an action movie and now everybody is disappointed about it. Sounds good to me!

  • Jennifer

    Hmm, I’m not so sure that Julia Roberts isn’t as big of a star as she used to be. Eat Pray Love won’t reach 100 million, but given the bad reviews, bad word of mouth, too long running time, and the fact that it is a drama (not a comedy, action or rom-com) only appeals to women over the ageo of 35 – it making 80-90 million is pretty damn good, especially when you factor in that it hasn’t opened Internationally yet. Trust me, I’ve seen the movie, and Julia Roberts is the only good damn thing about it. Put anyone else in that role, it doesn’t make more than 40 million.

    The American is going to sink, it has a Cinescore of a D-, people are hating that film.

    Next week I expect the top 10 to look like this:

    1. Resident Evil
    2. Machete
    3. The American
    4. Takers
    5. The Expendables
    6. The Other Guys
    7. Eat Pray Love
    8. The Last Exorcism
    9. Going the Distance
    10. Inception

  • I guess I credited more of the minor success of ‘Eat Pray Love’ to the novel’s popularity.

    I think that’s a pretty accurate list for what to expect next weekend, although I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Going the Distance’ fell out of the top ten completely.

  • Quinn

    “Toy Story 3” is now the highest grossing film of year worldwide, and the fifth highest grossing worldwide of all-time!

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