T.I. Salutes Fans For Making ‘Takers’ #1

'I appreciate the people for showing up and judging for themselves,' he tells MTV News.

While early estimates had “The Last Exorcism” edging out “Takers” at the box office this weekend, T.I. says not so fast. According to a recalculated tally on BoxOfficeMojo.com, his heist film, also starring Idris Elba and Chris Brown, came out on top, grossing $20.5 million vs. the horror movie’s $20.3 million.

“It was so tight, they kinda misinformed people prematurely and gave out the wrong information,” Tip said about the initial numbers. “But officially, as it stands right now, ‘Takers’ is the #1 movie in the country, contrary to popular belief. In my heart, I felt it would be.

“Its kinda like the Obama election,” Tip continued. “Not at all as important, but you felt like it was supposed to happen … unless it was some bullsh– in the game, it would likely happen. I’m not in any way trying to compare the magnitude of importance [of the presidential election] to this [box-office] situation, but I’m just trying to somewhat rate my anticipation. Thanks to everyone that supported. Critics were very quick to sign up and criticize the film. I appreciate the people for showing up and judging for themselves. And tweeting and putting out the word of mouth that this really was a good film.”

Tip did more than his share to promote the film this weekend. On Friday, he was in Atlanta treating his hometown fans to the flick, and then he headed to the Midwest on Sunday to do the same.

“All weekend I been out,” he said. “If I went and the line was packed, I bought all the tickets. Everybody inside who had already bought the tickets, I bought the concessions — popcorn, candy, slushees, sodas. I did that in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday. Sunday, I was in Mount Pleasant [Michigan] with [Ludacris for a concert]. … I went before the concert and took pictures and signed autographs for everyone who bought tickets. And after the show, I went in after the movie theater had closed. They remained open so they could show the film, man. At 11:30 or 11:55. That allowed us to have two more sold-out shows. I appreciate all the people who supported. It was really the energy. The energy surrounding the project was unmatched.

“We were in less theaters, we were in smaller theaters [than 'The Last Exorcism'],” Tip said about the obstacles for “Takers.” “They were in theaters that held 350 and 400. We were in theaters that held 150 and 185, 225. We had a stronger per-screen average, which means all of the screens that we were viewed on and showed on, we had more sold-out shows than they did. It was more people in line for ‘Takers’ than it was for that movie. It didn’t matter how many more screens than us they were on. It kept it close, but they couldn’t bring out the victory, simply because the people demanded it. The quality of ['Takers'] spoke volumes of what the people wanted to have in the #1 slot.”

After the film’s successful debut weekend, Tip was on the phone Monday morning (August 30) with the filmmakers about getting a “Takers” prequel greenlit. Musically, he’s dropping a song in the next few days called “I Pledge Allegiance to the Swag.”

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