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Posted at 9:31 AM ET, 09/ 7/2010

Weekend box office: George Clooney -- and 'The American' -- are No. 1

By Sarah Anne Hughes

George Clooney is No. 1. Is there anything he can't do? (AP Photo/Focus Features, Giles Keyte)

Posted by Sarah Anne Hughes

Robert Rodriguez's "Machete" made a strong showing over the long Labor Day weekend, but George Clooney and "The American" took the No. 1 spot with a good ol' fashioned hit-man-tempted-by-one-last-job story. Thus concludes the summer movie season that saw a record revenue of $4.35 billion, according to While this is $100 million more than last summer, movie attendance is down to the lowest point since summer 2005. The culprit? Higher movie ticket prices. Darn you, James Cameron! Find out if the Drew Barrymore rom-com "Going the Distance" found box office love, if last week's top film "Takers" had staying power and more in the weekend box office rundown.

"The American" brought in $16.4 million over the long weekend. Since the thriller's opening Wednesday, "The American" has taken in $19.5 million. The film "had the fourth-highest grossing Labor Day launch ever," according to Box Office Mojo. Despite having Lindsay Lohan dressed as a nun, "Machete" debuted at No. 2 with $14 million. The film's opening was stronger than Rodriguez's "Grindhouse," but not remotely as good as his "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."

Like Jennifer Aniston and "The Switch," "Going the Distance," starring real-life couple Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, opened with disappointing numbers. The rom-com debuted at No. 5 taking in $8.6 million. "The Switch" had a similar start, opening with $8.1 million. Not even the critically praised chemistry between Barrymore and Long could make the film a success.

While "Takers" took the No. 1 position at last week's box office and the Celebritology box office poll, the heist film could not hold on to the top spot. The film fell to No. 3, bringing in $13.5 million over the Labor Day weekend. "The Last Exorcism," which narrowly lost the top spot last week, will probably never see the No. 1 position. The horror film dropped to No. 4, taking in $8.8 million and, according to Box Office Mojo, is fading faster than films of a similar genre.

In this order, "The Expendables," "The Other Guys," "Eat Pray Love," "Inception" and "Nanny McPhee Returns" rounded out the bottom five of the final box office of the summer season. "The Expendables," out for about a month, brought in another $8.5 million bringing its total closer to the $100 million mark. "Inception," one of the summer's strongest performers and the winner of the Celebritology best moneymaking movie of the summer poll, added $5.9 million to its now $278.4 million total.

Will "I'm Still Here," a documentary about Joaquin Phoenix's descent into madness/performance art/publicity stunt, interest enough people in limited release to become No. 1? Or will "Resident Evil: Afterlife" (in 3D!) take the top position? Tell us what you think in the poll below.

By Sarah Anne Hughes  | September 7, 2010; 9:31 AM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Box Office, Movies  
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