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Labor Day Weekend Box Office: American Triumphs Over Mexican - Going the Distance: Doesn't

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By Chris Kavan - 09/06/10 at 10:06 PM CT

Despite signaling the end of summer, Labor Day isn't known as a barn-burner for movies. Luckily George Clooney knows how to bring in an audience. The opening for the actor / director put up an impressive $16.4 million (or $19.5 since opening Wednesday) - not bad for a film costing only $20 million.

Coming close in second was Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse-inspired Machete. With Danny Trejo playing one pissed-off Mexican, it managed a respectable $14 million, though it was a very close second as last weekend's top film, Takers, was third with $13.5 million. Still, Machete managed to top the opening of the Grindhouse double feature that was a disappointment when it premiered.

The other new film didn't fare as well, as Drew Barrymore and Justin Long couldn't pull in audiences with their long-distance relationship. At only $8.6 million, Going the Distance managed only a 5th-place showing. It marked a low point in openings for both stars.

Meanwhile, the horror film The Last Exorcist bled 64% of its audience - typical for many horror films - and made an additional $8.8 million for 4th place. The elderly continue to show staying power, as Sly Stallone and crew held on to 6th place for $8.5 million and only a 30% drop. It looks The Expendables has grossed $94.1 million since opening and looks like it will be Stallone's next $100 million-grossing film - the last? Rocky IV circa 1985.

Also still in the top 10? Chris Nolan's Inception, which hung on to 9th place with $5.9 million. The mind-bending ride has grossed $278.5 million since opening.

It looks like the biggest films to watch for next week will be Resident Evil: Afterlife and Ben Affleck, taking a page from Clooney, will direct and act in crime / thriller, The Town. We'll see how the battle works out.

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