‘Last Exorcism’ edges out ‘Takers’ at box office

LOS ANGELES, Aug 29 (BestGrowthStock) – “The Last Exorcism” beat
fellow newcomer “Takers” by just $300,000 to end the two-week
reign of Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables” at the weekend
box office in North America on Sunday.

With the lucrative summer moviegoing season ending next
weekend, the A-list blockbusters have ceded the spotlight to a
late influx of low-budget genre pictures vying for a
last-minute piece of the action.

The psychological thriller “The Last Exorcism,” shot in a
faux-documentary style with a group of no-name actors, earned
an estimated $21.3 million during its first three days of
release, distributor Lionsgate said.

It edged the Sony Pictures heist thriller “Takers,” which
made off with $21 million. Figures and rankings could change on
Monday when final data are released.

Both movies came in at the upper end of expectations and
should quickly become profitable. “Last Exorcism” was
independently made for about $2 million and acquired for U.S.
distribution by Lionsgate for a similar amount. “Takers,” with
a cast including Matt Dillon, Paul Walker and Idris Elba, cost
about $32 million to make. It was handled by Sony’s low-budget
Screen Gems arm.

Also new was a re-release of “Avatar,” the biggest movie in
box office history, with an additional eight minutes of
footage. The 20th Century Fox sci-fi extravaganza came in at
No. 12 with $4 million from a limited run in 862 3D theaters. A
studio official said the release was “strictly for the fans.”
Its total stands at $753.8 million.

Lionsgate’s “The Expendables,” meanwhile, slipped to No. 3
with $9.5 million, taking the total for the all-star mercenary
action saga to $82 million after three weeks. It ranks as
star/director/co-writer Stallone’s biggest adult thriller since
1993’s “Cliffhangers” ($84 million). Data are not adjusted for
inflation.

Lionsgate is a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Sony
Pictures is a unit of Sony Corp.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Bill Trott)

‘Last Exorcism’ edges out ‘Takers’ at box office