Film Weekend Per Total
1 The American $12,968,000 $4,594 $16,114,000
2 Takers $11,450,000 (-44.2%) $5,190 $37,900,000
3 Machete $11,300,000 $4,232 $11,300,000
4 The Last Exorcism $7,645,000 (-62.5%) $2,660 $32,477,000
5 Going the Distance $6,885,000 $2,272 $6,885,000
6 The Expendables $6,592,000 (-30.8%) $1,940 $92,159,000
7 The Other Guys $5,400,000 (-14.1%) $2,071 $106,866,000
8 Eat Pray Love $4,850,000 (-28.8%) $1,821 $68,954,000
9 Inception $4,530,000 (-7.1%) $2,658 $277,103,000
10 Nanny McPhee Returns $3,575,000 (-24.2%) $1,320 $22,441,000

This just in: My summer jam. Oh, late.

End of summer is a losing proposition for anything but the cheapest of titles. So Focus can at say they topped the weekend with The American, which is good, but they didn’t even do it with the highest per screen. The top three films are in a relatively tight grouping, which makes the winner – by default – Takers by holding strong-ish (less than 50% off is nothing to sneer at) for its second weekend. The American did good business for a film that must have at some point been thought to be an Oscar contender, but must have been too austere or whatever. Without chasing awards, the options were limited, so it got a fall date but one that suggests no confidence. Perhaps the marginally positive reviews helped and maybe taking the weekend will bolster the film’s reputation. But I don’t think Focus is going to give it any Oscar heat because that would be a run at a Clooney best actor Oscar. This year’s field is still open, but the actor category is usually busy. It’s a good opening for Clooney as it suggests these numbers are his star power. It’s not terrible, which considering The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford…  

Takers had a strong hold, and getting over $50 has to be a win for a picture like this. If it isn’t, they spent bad money. Speaking of, Machete. Did anyone get paid on this picture? If not, then this might be a successful draw. The appeal is that it would be done for nothing, right? If Fox kept the budget down on this bizarre motion picture, then it might just eke out a profit, otherwise it will be Grindhouse redux, but if this and Predators are the start of Robert Rodriguez’s run at Fox, I can’t imagine they’re impressed. The Last Exorcism got open. It cost nothing to make, and Eli Roth is a promotional machine. $40 Million is a win.

You would think Drew Barrymore would have her audience at this point, but Warner Brothers didn’t know what to do with this film and so they delayed a week. Didn’t help, and Going the Distance will need good word of mouth to find an audience at home. The Expendables will make it over $100 Million at this point, so bully for that. The Other Guys could hang out for a while – there’s only one new picture next week – so $120 is reasonable.  Eat Pray Done. Inception gets over $280 Million, so with nothing next weekend, it could get to $290-ish, and there may be an end of year reissue or something.

This just in: Nanny McPhee is still out in theaters!

ZZZZZZZ. Wake me for Ben Affleck. He’s so dreamy.