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Posted at 9:37 AM ET, 08/30/2010

Weekend box office: 'The Last Exorcism' beats 'Takers' in photo-finish race; UPDATED: 'Takers' is No. 1

By Sarah Anne Hughes

"The Last Exorcism" (Lionsgate)

Posted by Sarah Anne Hughes

Update: Final studio numbers released Monday evening confirm "Takers" was No. 1 at the weekend box office. The heist film made $20.5 million its first weekend while "Exorcism" took in $20.4 million.

In a photo-finish race, the faux-documentary horror flick "The Last Exorcism" took the No. 1 spot at the box office this weekend with heist film "Takers" at No. 2. But overall, box office business is down 6 percent compared to last year, according to Box Office Mojo. Find out if Sly Stallone's "The Expendables" has staying power, if Jennifer Aniston finally found box office love, and more in this week's box office rundown.

"The Last Exorcism" and "Takers" were neck-and-neck all weekend at the box office, with "Takers" leading on Saturday. But in the end, "Exorcism" beat the Idris Elba film $21.3 million to $21 million. Both opened above studio expectations, according to the Associated Press, and brought in above-average numbers for films of the same genres (see: "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," "Armored"), according to Box Office Mojo.

After spending two weeks at No. 1, "The Expendables" fell to third place taking in $9.5 million this weekend. The Sylvester Stallone action film has brought in $82 million after 17 days. The boys continued to dominate Julia Roberts' "Eat Pray Love." The chick flick, based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir, continued to do just OK, adding $7 million to its three-week total. No word on how Rosewood prayer beads and other product tie-ins are selling at World Market.

"Avatar: Special Edition" opened at No. 12 taking in a modest $4 million domestically. While this number may seem disappointing, the film, out now with nine whole minutes of additional footage, only opened in 812 3D locations and, as Box Office Mojo points out, has been on home video for the past few months. The film's lifetime gross is now past $750 million. I bet James Cameron isn't worried.

If you really want to pity someone, try Jennifer Aniston. After opening to dismal numbers last week, the insemination rom-com "The Switch" fell another spot to No. 9 bringing in just $4.7 million. I will continue to blame the film's creepy premise, not Aniston, for the film's poor showing. "The Other Guys" continued to do decent business (thanks, Will Ferrell) while "Vampires Suck," "Nanny McPhee Returns," and "Piranha 3D" all stayed in the top 10.

Can "The Last Exorcism" hold onto its position? Or will the Drew Barrymore rom-com "Going the Distance" or "Machete," starring Lindsay Lohan (oh, and Robert DeNiro), take the top spot? Decide by voting in the poll below.

-- Sarah Anne Hughes

By Sarah Anne Hughes  | August 30, 2010; 9:37 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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It was actually Takers that have the number 1 spot.

Posted by: tennis-fan | August 30, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks tennis-fan! As of this morning when this was posted, "Exorcism" had the No. 1 spot, according to estimates. But the final numbers that came out this evening confirm "Takers" is No. 1:

Will update!

Posted by: Sarah Anne Hughes | August 30, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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