The Box-Office Top Five
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.
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.
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