George Clooney's 'The American' Triumphs Over Labor Day Box Office

'Machete' carves out a second-place finish, edging out 'Takers' over slow holiday weekend.

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 [movie id="436505"]"The American"[/movie] ($16.4 million)

#2 [movie id="426067"]"Machete"[/movie] ($14 million)

#3 [movie id="359489"]"Takers"[/movie] ($13.5 million)

#4 [movie id="451734"]"The Last Exorcism"[/movie] ($8.8 million)

#5 [movie id="423451"]"Going the Distance[/movie]" ($8.6 million)

As people said goodbye to summer across the country, box-office activity was relatively quiet throughout the Labor Day weekend — but many of the moviegoers who did manage to find their way into theaters made sure to honor the "American" way.

George Clooney's "The American" was the weekend's first-place finisher, yielding a respectable if not overly lucrative $16.4 million haul from Friday through Monday. The film got a head start on the competition with its Wednesday opening, bringing the moderately priced thriller's total to $19.5 million in less than a week. Made on a reported $20 million budget, "The American" is nothing short of a modest success.

Hot on the heels of "The American" was "Machete," the self-professed Mexploitation revenge flick from the deliciously deranged mind of co-director, producer and writer Robert Rodriguez. An extended version of the trailer filmed for Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's "Grindhouse," the Danny Trejo-starring "Machete" sliced and diced its way to a $14 million debut. Just like "The American," "Machete" is virtually guaranteed to recoup its $20 million production budget, and the door is wide open for possible sequels to the R-rated action movie down the line.

Rounding out the weekend's newcomers was "Going the Distance," Drew Barrymore and Justin Long's romantic comedy about a couple's struggle to maintain a long-distance relationship. Long and Barrymore's chemistry wasn't enough to go the distance, however, with the rom-com settling for an $8.6 million fifth-place finish.

Last weekend's top performers "Takers" and "The Last Exorcism" proved their staying power with $13.5 million and $8.8 million, respectively.

Upcoming Releases

Next weekend sees the return of Milla Jovovich as Alice in "Resident Evil: Afterlife," the fourth entry in the video game movie franchise directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.

Check out everything we've got on "Machete" and "The American."

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