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'The American': George Clooney Drops Late Summer Box Office Bomb?

Violante Placido, George Clooney, The American
The American with Violante Placido, George Clooney

Sept. 10 '10, update: For the second day in a row, not a single movie earned more than $1 million at the North American box office on Thursday, Sept. 9, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. Even though three among the top-ten movies posted attendance gains on Thursday, the top ten were down 37.2 percent compared to a week ago, and 46 percent compared to three weeks ago.

Among the top twelve movies, five posted gains, including Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee's surprising 59.9 percent jump.

On the top spot, Anton Corbijn-George Clooney's The American earned only $723,000. After nine days, the thriller/drama has taken in a mere $22.43 million.

At no. 2, Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez's Machete drew $688,000. The exploitation flick features Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Cheech Marin.

At no. 3, Takers brought in $597,000. The heist thriller features Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba.

Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, collected $505,000 at no. 4. The poorly received romantic comedy finally crossed the $10 million mark on Day 7.

At no. 5, the Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem-James Franco romantic drama Eat Pray Love scored $490,000, followed by Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables with $416,000.

The Expendables has fared surprisingly well on weekends following poor weekday grosses. The same will likely happen this weekend, but it remains unclear whether the violent actioner will cross the $100 million mark at the domestic box office in the next three days. Its total currently stands at $95.24m; last weekend it took in $6.62 million.

Next in line on Thursday were Daniel Stamm's mockumentary The Last Exorcism with $363,000 at no. 7, and Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio's thriller/sci-fier Inception with $313,000.

Rounding out the top twelve were Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg's The Other Guys with $309,000, Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston's The Switch with $237,000, Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee Returns with $216,000, James Cameron-Sam Worthington's Avatar: Special Edition with $204,000.

Piranha 3D was kicked out of the top twelve chart. It'll likely stay out from now on.

The Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner romantic fantasy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in $30,753 for a grand total of $298.89 million after 72 days. Eclipse will likely crawl its way to $300m, but it'll probably be another two weeks or so before it gets there.

Among the top twelve movies, Takers had the highest per-theater average, a low $271. Nanny McPhee Returns, despite its unexpected surge, had the lowest, $80.

Also among the top twelve, Nanny McPhee Returns posted the highest Wednesday-to-Thursday attendance increase, the aforementioned up 59.9 percent. Machete had the steepest drop-off rate, down 16 percent.

Photo: The American (Giles Keyte / Alliance Atlantis).

Sept. 9

Violante Placido, George Clooney, The American
Violante Placido, George Clooney, The American

Not a single movie earned more than $1 million at the North American box office on Wednesday, Sept. 8, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. The top ten movies were down 36.1 percent compared to a week ago, and a sizable 49 percent compared to three weeks ago.

Remaining at this week's unimpressive top spot, the Anton Corbijn-George Clooney thriller/drama The American grossed only $834,000, falling below the $1m-per-day mark on Day 8.

At no. 2, Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez's Machete also fell below the $1m-per-day mark, collecting $818k on Day 6. Machete features Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Cheech Marin.

At no. 3, Takers took in $642,000. The heist thriller features Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba.

Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, scored $534,000 at no. 4. The poorly received romantic comedy has yet to cross the $10 million mark.

Up one spot at no. 5, the Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem-James Franco romantic drama Eat Pray Love drew $477,000, followed by Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables with $443,000.

Next in line were Daniel Stamm's mockumentary The Last Exorcism with $405,000 at no. 7, and the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys with $316,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio's Inception with $309,000, Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston's The Switch with $221,000, James Cameron-Sam Worthington's Avatar: Special Edition with $196,000, Elisabeth Shue-Adam Scott's Piranha 3D with $170k.

I don't think that even two weeks ago anyone would have guessed that Avatar would be fighting it out with Piranha 3D for the last two spots on the top twelve chart.

Among the top twelve movies, Machete had the highest per-theater average, a dismal $307. Piranha 3D had the lowest, an abysmal $95.

Also among the top twelve, Avatar was the only movie to post a Tuesday-to-Wednesday attendance increase, up 7.7 percent. The American had the steepest drop-off rate, down 22.3 percent.

Photo: The American (Giles Keyte / Alliance Atlantis).

Sept. 8

On Tuesday, Sept. 7, the Anton Corbijn-George Clooney thriller/drama The American was once again the top movie at the U.S. and Canada box office, taking in $1.07 million according to Box Office Mojo.

The American's per-theater take was a meager $380 on another slow day at the North American box office, which was down 32.6 percent compared to a week ago, which was already down 30.7 percent from the week before, which was already down 27.9 percent from the previous week.

Chances are The American will fall below the $1m-per-day mark either today or tomorrow.

In fact, two movies fell below that mark on Tuesday: John Luessenhop's Takers (on Day 12) and the Drew Barrymore-Justin Long romantic comedy Going the Distance (on Day 5).

At no. 2, Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez's Machete grossed $1.01 million at 2,670 sites. With only $379 per venue, Machete fell (way) below the daily $1,000-per-theater mark on Day 5, and will in all likelihood fall below the $1m-per-day mark within the next couple of days.

Machete features Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Cheech Marin.

At no. 3, Takers collected $778,000; its per-theater average: $353. The heist thriller features Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba.

Going the Distance took in $616,000 at no. 4.

Down one spot at no. 5, Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables earned $497k (-70.7 percent from Monday). For whatever reason, Stallone's violent actioner only performs well on weekends and holidays. Do parents take their seven-year-old brats to watch this? If so, what's wrong with them?

The Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem-James Franco romantic drama Eat Pray Love was next in line with $484k at no. 6 – up two spots.

Daniel Stamm's mockumentary The Last Exorcism brought in $447,000 at no. 7, followed by the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys with $337,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio's Inception with $329,000, Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston's The Switch with $253,000, and, back among the top twelve – though not for very long – Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D with $202k and James Cameron's Avatar: Special Edition with $182,000.

Avatar's rerelease has been a major disappointment. The movie everyone wanted to watch last winter has quickly become the movie no one cares about this fall. Well, at least on the big screen, at inflated 3D/IMAX prices. After 12 days, Avatar: Special Edition has earned only $8.66 million.

Gone from the top twelve were Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee Returns and, following a brief resurgence, Despicable Me.

Among the top twelve movies, The American had the highest per-theater average, the aforementioned $380. Piranha 3D had the lowest, $113.

Also among the top twelve, Going the Distance posted the smallest Monday-to-Tuesday attendance loss, down 62 percent. The Other Guys suffered the worst drop-off rate, down 75.5 percent.

Photo: The American (Giles Keyte / Alliance Atlantis).

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George Clooney, Violante Placido, The American
Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, Going the Distance
George Clooney, Violante Placido, The American (top); Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, Going the Distance (bottom)

The Anton Corbijn-George Clooney thriller/drama The American was indeed the no. 1 movie on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 6, at the North American box office. But there was some switching around elsewhere, according to actuals found at Box Office Mojo.

After six days, The American's cume stood at $19.8 million following earnings of $3.48 million on Monday. Although its $1,234 per-theater average was the highest of the bunch – studio estimates had placed Takers on top – it wasn't exactly what one would call impressive.

According to reports, The American cost $20m, which came from various sources. Once foreign/ancillary revenues are factored in, the film should earn a profit for its backers/distributors – or at least some of them, depending on contractual stipulations.

Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez's Machete – not Takers – was both Monday's and this past Labor Day weekend's no. 2 movie, with $2.68 million at 2,670 sites, or $1,006 per theater. Machete will likely fall below the daily $1,000-per-theater mark on Day 5, today. (Yesterday's studio estimates erroneously had it already below that mark.)

Machete features Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Cheech Marin.

At no. 3, John Luessenhop's Takers collected $2.65 million. The heist thriller features Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba.

At no. 4, Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables earned $1.69 million, closely followed by Drew Barrymore and Justin Long's romantic comedy Going the Distance with $1.62 million, which has collected a mere $8.5 million after four days.

Daniel Stamm's mockumentary The Last Exorcism brought in $1.4 million at no. 6.

Next in line were the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys with $1.37 million at no. 7 and the Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem-James Franco romantic drama Eat Pray Love with $1.37 million at no. 8 – down two spots from yesterday's estimates.

Rounding out the top twelve were Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio's Inception with $1.31m; Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee Returns with $1.27m; Despicable Me with $1.06m; and Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston's The Switch with $797,000.

Among the top twelve movies, The American had the highest per-theater average, the aforementioned $1,234. Nanny McPhee Returns had the lowest, $423.

Also among the top twelve, Nanny McPhee Returns was the only movie to post Sunday-to-Monday attendance gains, a minor up 1.1 percent. The Last Exorcism posted the steepest attendance drop, down 39.5 percent.

Photo: The American (Giles Keyte / Alliance Atlantis); Going the Distance (Jessica Miglio / Warner Bros.).

Sept. 6

George Clooney, Thekla Reuten, The American
George Clooney, Thekla Reuten, The American

The Anton Corbijn-George Clooney thriller/drama The American was the no. 1 movie on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 6, at the North American box office, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. That feat is less impressive than it sounds.

After six days, The American hasn't even reached $20 million domestically, cuming at $19.54 million. Its per-theater Monday average was less than that of John Luessenhop's heist thriller Takers on its second weekend out: $1,158 vs. $1,179.

Featuring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba, Takers was the no. 2 movie, with $2.6 million.

Right on its heels was Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez's Machete, with $2.57 million. If estimates are correct, the exploitation action-thriller has already fallen below the daily $1,000-per-theater mark: $964 on Day 4.

Machete features Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Cheech Marin.

At no. 4, Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables earned $1.85 million, closely followed by Drew Barrymore and Justin Long's romantic comedy Going the Distance with $1.71 million.

The Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem-James Franco romantic drama Eat Pray Love brought in $1.45 million at no. 6.

Next in line were Daniel Stamm's mockumentary The Last Exorcism with $1.37 million at no. 7 and the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys with $1.35 million at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio's Inception with $1.3m; Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee Returns with $1.16m; Despicable Me, back among the top twelve, with $1m; and Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston's The Switch.

Vampires Suck was kicked out of the top twelve, while Avatar: Special Edition made less money than Piranha 3D ($633k vs. $615,000) according to studio estimates.

Among the top twelve movies, Takers had the highest per-theater average, the aforementioned $1,179. Nanny McPhee Returns had the lowest, $430.

Also among the top twelve, Despicable Me and Nanny McPhee Returns posted the lowest Sunday-to-Monday decreases, down 7.4 percent and down 7.5 percent, respectively. The Last Exorcism posted the sharpest attendance drop, down 41.9 percent.

Photo: The American (Giles Keyte / Alliance Atlantis)

Sept. 5

After falling slightly behind on Friday (as per studio estimates), Anton Corbijn-George Clooney's minimalist thriller/drama The American ultimately topped the first three days of the 2010 Labor Day weekend at the North American box office. Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez's action-thriller Machete, the no. 1 movie on Friday, was down two spots by Sunday, when studios released their weekend estimates.

The American, which reportedly cost $20 million, collected $12.96 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. That's on a par with two recent George Clooney vehicles, the Clooney-directed romantic comedy Leatherheads (2008) and Grant Heslov's political satire The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009). Both turned out to be box office disappointments, cuming in the low $30 million range.

Clooney's more successful Up in the Air's first wide weekend generated $11.27 million in sales, but the Jason Reitman-directed comedy-drama's longevity had a lot to do with stellar reviews and continuous awards season buzz that went from its late 2009 debut all the way to March 2010.

Up in the Air's domestic total was $83.82 million. Needless to say, The American, which mostly received unenthusiastic reviews, won't get near that and will have to fight its way to reach $30 million.

Considering Corbijn's brainy, restrained handling of the material, the movie may have a tough time internationally as well, where moviegoers clearly prefer braindead blow'em-up attractions such as The Expendables.

Photo: The American (Giles Keyte / Alliance Atlantis)

Robert De Niro, Machete
Robert De Niro in Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez's Machete

Perhaps it was the lack of any strong competition, but John Luessenhop's heist thriller Takers held up quite well on its second weekend out. Featuring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba, Takers was the no. 2 movie this Labor Day weekend (up to Sunday), grossing $11.45 million (down 44.2 percent) an averaging $5,190 per theater according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Takers' domestic total to date: $37.9 million.

It seems unlikely that Takers will be able to recover its $32 million production costs at the U.S. and Canada box office, as approximately $60 million would be needed for that. After all, another 45%-50 percent drop and the thriller should earn no more than $6 million next weekend and $3 million a week later; during the week, it has been averaging considerably less than $1k per theater. Even so, Takers will undoubtedly end up in the black once foreign and ancillary revenues are added up.

At no. 3, Machete pulled in an estimated $11.3 million. Directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez and featuring Danny Trejo (in the title role), Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Seagal, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Cheech Marin, Machete averaged an anemic $4,232 at 2,670 venues despite a number of positive reviews.

The exploitation send-up – which reportedly cost about $25 million and was later acquired by 20th Century Fox after a “bidding war” – may have failed to connect with audiences, as, following an underwhelming Friday debut, it actually went down on Saturday (though only a minor 3.8 percent).

But there's still time for Machete to turn the tide – at least a little bit. Its box office take is quite close to that of Takers, and it's certainly not impossible for it to finish the extended Labor Day weekend at no. 2.

Photo: Machete (20th Century Fox).

Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Inception
Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Inception

At no. 4, Daniel Stamm's mockumentary The Last Exorcism, starring Ashley Bell, brought in $7.64 million – down a worrisome 62.5 percent from a week ago – according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

But with the exception of Exorcism, the other top-twelve holdovers performed remarkably well – little competition from newcomers The American, Going the Distance, and Machete, surely helped – dropping less than 45 percent and in some cases less than 25 percent.

Inception, for one, dropped a mere 7 percent. If the Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio thriller/sci-fier stays the course, it'll quite possibly not only reach $300 million domestically but will also surpass the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner romantic fantasy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, currently with $298.67 million. (Eclipse grossed an estimated $420,000 this weekend.)

Elsewhere on the domestic box office chart, most movies also suffered only modest drops (at no. 13, Despicable Me was down a mere down 1 percent), and a few – kiddie flicks such as The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Toy Story 3, and Shrek Forever After – actually posted attendance increases.

Back to The Last Exorcism: The film's investors shouldn't be too worried, as the $1.8 million production has already earned $32.42 million domestically, making it one of the most profitable – if not the most profitable – domestic release of 2010, in terms of revenue/cost ratio.

Photo: Inception (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.).

Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Going the Distance
Drew Barrymore, Justin Long in Nanette Burstein's Going the Distance

At no. 5 was Going the Distance, a $32 million-budgeted romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, which pulled in only $6.88 million at 3,030 theaters, averaging a paltry $2,272 per venue according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. New Line (by way of distributor Warner Bros.) has a major dud in its hands.

Sylvester Stallone's violent actioner The Expendables was the no. 6 movie, collecting $6.59 million (down 31 percent; total: 92.15 million; cost: $80 million), followed by the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys with $5.4 million (down 14 percent; total: 106.86 million; cost: $100 million).

Next in line was the Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem-James Franco romantic drama Eat Pray Love with $4.85 million (down 29 percent; total: 68.95 million; cost: $60 million) at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Inception with $4.53 million (down 7 percent; total: 277.1 million; cost: $160 million), Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee Returns with $3.57 million (down 24 percent; total: 22.44 million; cost: $35 million), Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston's The Switch with $3.06 million (down 33.1 percent; total: 21.44m; cost: $19m), Vampires Suck with $3 million (down 42.5 percent; total: 32.29m; cost: $20m).

Three 3-D movies (say that really fast) vied for the next three spots at the domestic box office: Despicable Me was no. 13 with $2.82 million, followed by a (for the time being) tie between James Cameron's Avatar: Special Edition, shown exclusively at 3D/IMAX venues, and Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D with $2.3 million.

Who'd have thought that in its first rerelease the mighty Avatar would be gone from the top twelve chart in a mere week and would be running neck-and-neck with an exploitation flick starring sharp-toothed little fish. Avatar's per-theater take was a paltry $2,833. (To date, Avatar has collected a grand total of $765.4 million in the U.S. and Canada.)

Among the top twelve movies, Takers had the highest per-theater average, $5,190, followed by The American with $4,594 and Machete with $4,232. Vampires Suck had the lowest, $1,233.

Also among the top twelve, Inception posted the lowest drop-off rate, down 7.1 percent. The Last Exorcism had the highest, down 62.5 percent.

Photo: Going the Distance (Jessica Miglio / New Line Cinema / Warner Bros.).

Sept. 4

Danny Trejo, Machete
Danny Trejo, Machete

Following a disappointing Wednesday debut and a 12 percent attendance decrease on Day 2, the minimalist Anton Corbijn-George Clooney psychological/political thriller/drama The American trailed Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez's in-your-face action-thriller Machete at the North American box office on Friday, Sept. 3, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo.

Labor Day isn't usually a great moviegoing weekend in the United States. It's unclear whether that's because people see moviegoing as “labor” and opt instead to spend their time stuffing their faces with greasy hamburgers, or because the movies released on this particular weekend tend to be less-than-alluring fare.

This weekend's final winner could be either Machete or The American. But rest assured that neither one will be breaking any box office records.

Machete took in an estimated $3.9 million (average: a none-too-impressive $1,461) on Friday, while The American collected $3.8 million (average: $1,346). Chances are they'll each gross between $14m-$16 million by Monday evening. Putting things a bit in perspective: Most movies that earn that much on a three-day weekend are considered disappointments, while Halloween took in more than $30 million on Labor Day weekend 2007.

Machete features Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Seagal, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Cheech Marin.

Featuring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba, John Luessenhop's heist thriller Takers was the no. 3 movie, with $3.1 million, down 58.6 percent from a week ago.

At no. 4, Daniel Stamm's mockumentary The Last Exorcism, starring Ashley Bell, drew only $2.27 million – down a demonic 76 percent compared to last Friday.

At no. 5 was another new entry, Going the Distance, a romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, which scored only $2.24 million at 3,030 theaters, averaging a meager $739 per site. Pardon the rotten pun, but Going the Distance won't get very far.

Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables was the no. 6 movie, earning $1.66 million, followed by the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys with $1.36 million.

Next in line – and there may be some switching around when final figures are released next Tuesday – the Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem-James Franco romantic drama Eat Pray Love pulled in $1.34 million at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio's Inception with $1.15 million, Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee Returns with $870,000, Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston's The Switch with $850,000, Vampires Suck with $800,000.

Gone from the top twelve were Piranha 3D and, despite higher 3D/IMAX ticket prices, James Cameron's Avatar: Special Edition. It's possible, however, that Avatar will be back on the top-twelve chart by Monday. Cameron's sci-fier usually performed quite well on Saturday and Sunday.

Among the top twelve movies, Machete had the highest per-theater average, the aforementioned $1,461 – only a little more than Takers' $1,405. Nanny McPhee Returns had the lowest, $321.

Also among the top twelve, The Last Exorcism posted the highest Thursday-to-Friday increase, up 166.2 percent. After losing nearly 400 theaters, Eat Pray Love posted the (by far) lowest increase, up 58.5 percent.

Photo: Machete (20th Century Fox)

Sept. 3

Viola Davis, Julia Roberts, Eat Pray Love
Viola Davis, Julia Roberts in Ryan Murphy's Eat Pray Love

Following a disappointing Wednesday debut, the Anton Corbijn-George Clooney psychological/political thriller/drama The American was down 12.2 percent at the North American box office on Thursday, Sept. 2, taking in $1.46 million according to Box Office Mojo.

All but one among the chart's top twelve movies were down as well, even though the day-to-day attendance drops weren't as dramatic as those posted on Wednesday. The sole exception was the Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio thriller/sci-fier, which was up a minuscule 1.7 percent.

Featuring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba, John Luessenhop's heist thriller Takers was the no. 2 movie, with $1.18 million.

At no. 3, Daniel Stamm's mockumentary The Last Exorcism, starring Ashley Bell, brought in $852,000.

At no. 4 was the Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem-James Franco romantic drama Eat Pray Love, with $845,000, followed by Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables with $764,000.

At no. 6 was the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys with $531,000.

Next in line were Inception with $481,000 at no. 7 and the Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston comedy The Switch with $443,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee Returns with $419,000, Elisabeth Shue's Piranha 3D with $400,000,Sam Worthington's Avatar: Special Edition with $323,000, Vampires Suck with $303,000.

Here are a few others:

Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World with $241,000, Angelina Jolie's Salt with $154,000, Annette Bening-Julianne Moore-Mark Ruffalo's The Kids Are All Right with $58,000.

Also, Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with $52,000, M. Night Shyamalan-Dev Patel-Jackson Rathbone's The Last Airbender with $32,000, Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz's Knight and Day with $18,000.

Among the top twelve movies, The American had the highest per-theater average, a not very impressive $540 – only a notch above Takers' $539. Vampires Suck had the lowest, $94.

Also among the top twelve, Inception posted the only Wednesday-to-Thursday increase, the aforementioned up 1.7 percent. The American's down 12.2 percent was the highest drop-off rate.

Photo: Eat Pray Love (François Duhamel / Columbia Pictures)

Sept. 2

George Clooney, The American, Anton Corbijn
George Clooney in Anton Corbijn The American

George Clooney's The American, about a professional killer who develops a troubled conscience while in Italy, may turn out to be a late-summer bomb if figures don't improve dramatically over Labor Day weekend.

At the top spot on the North American box office chart, The American collected only $1.67 million at 2,721 locations, averaging a paltry $615 per theater, according to Box Office Mojo.

In recent years, Clooney's pull at the domestic box office hasn't exactly been stellar, chiefly as a result of the actor's decision to appear in “movies with a message,” e.g., Syriana, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Michael Clayton.

In fact, Clooney's last major blockbuster was Ocean's Eleven back in 2001 – the caper flick grossed $183.4 million (not adjusted for inflation) – and that was a group effort (Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, etc.).

In the last five years, only one George Clooney vehicle has grossed more than $100 million in the U.S. and Canada, Ocean's Thirteen (2007), itself not only a group effort but also the weakest performer in the Ocean's franchise, with $117.1 million in revenues.

The good news is that The American has already outperformed The Good German, which took in $1.3 million in 2006. That bad news is that it'll face an uphill battle to reach the (modest) take of Good Night, and Good Luck., Leatherheads, or The Men Who Stare at Goats, all of which ended their domestic runs within the $30m-$32 million range.

Directed by Anton Corbijn, The American was adapted by Rowan Joffe from Martin Booth's novel A Very Private Gentleman. Violante Placido plays Clooney's love interest in the film, which has received mixed reviews in the North American media.

Photo: The American (Giles Keyte / Alliance Atlantis)

Julia Roberts, Viola Davis, Eat Pray Love
Julia Roberts, Viola Davis in Ryan Murphy's Eat Pray Love

Anton Corbijn's The American disappointed on opening day, while the holdovers fared just as poorly. All other movies among the top twelve lost ground on Wednesday, Sept. 1. In fact, things were so bad that eight of them were down more than 20 percent.

Featuring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba, John Luessenhop's heist thriller Takers was down one spot at no. 2, with $1.24 million (down 28.5 percent) as per Box Office Mojo.

At no. 3, Daniel Stamm's mockumentary The Last Exorcism, which stars Ashley Bell, fell below the $1m-per-day mark on Day 6, scoring $941k (-25.2 percent).

At no. 4 was the Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem-James Franco romantic drama Eat Pray Love, with $865,000, followed by Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables with $794k (-24.5 percent).

At no. 6 was Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg's The Other Guys with $551,000, while the Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio sci-fier Inception brought in $473,000, up one spot at no. 7.

Next in line was Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston's comedy The Switch with $447,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee Returns with $433,000, Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D with $406k,James Cameron's Avatar: Special Edition with $349,000, Vampires Suck with $311,000.

Here are a few others:

Michael Cera's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World with $247,000, Angelina Jolie's Salt with $150,000, Annette Bening-Julianne Moore-Mark Ruffalo's The Kids Are All Right with $56,000.

Also, Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with $53,000, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender with $33,000, Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz's Knight and Day with $17,000.

Among the top twelve movies, The American had the highest per-theater average, a meager $615. Vampires Suck had the lowest, $96.

Also among the top twelve, Avatar: Special Edition posted the lowest Tuesday-to-Wednesday drop-off rate, down 17 percent. Vampires Suck had the steepest, down 31 percent.

Photo: Eat Pray Love (François Duhamel / Columbia Pictures)


         
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3 Comments to 'The American': George Clooney Drops Late Summer Box Office Bomb?

  1. annegc1

    A mere $22.43 for The American? For a $20-million budget film, with a marketing campaign not huge at all, is far from a “mere” result, so far…

  2. rockart

    It's on par to make $16 this holiday weekend. Another Fox flop. There will be no sequels.

  3. Rose Peters

    We (three seniors) go to the movies every week and all three of us discovered (after the fact) that we should have left within 20 minutes or less of viewing it. The only thing going for it was the fact that it captured your curiosity in discovering what the target was (which after total frustration throughout the movie) you never did find out - what was going to be published in the “Tribune” the next day. Maybe this was the intent, but I am totally disappointed with the main actor (name not to be mentioned) with the demeaning of sex, America and humanity. Yes, we should have left at the beginning, but I'll give the makers credit they did “catch your curiosity”. I hope this isn't leading up to a sequel, because if it is I'll be sure not to see it. Poor “main actor” he must be very desperate for funds to have resorted to being in this film! Thank you for your time.