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Will 'Machete' decapitate 'The American'? The race is on

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America Is feeling quite patriotic but horror exploitation fan boys are hot on the trail.George Clooney scores big this weekend with "The American."

Well, it’s Labor Day weekend, which means most of the U.S. needs to forced at gunpoint to attend the movies as opposed to the beach (where are the open-roof theatres?! Screen and tan, it’s a novel concept I tell ya!).

In any case, there still will be a champ of 2010 Labor Day cinema. Who will come out on top?

Of course, everyone knows George Clooney films bring in bank, so it’s no surprise the swaggering male cougar is coasting along in the number spot at the moment with The American, en route to pull in $16 million for the weekend. However, the underdog Machete is certainly giving Clooney a run for its money, with an estimated $14 million four day total. This could be attributed to the film’s positive reviews and cult appeal.

On other fronts, both of last week’s top releases are holding their own. People apparently don’t mind seeing “beat her down” Chris Brown in action, as the thriller Takers is gearing up to abduct a healthy $13 million, putting its total over $40 million to date. The Last Exorcism, last weekend astonishing break out horror hit, has suffered an expected decline, but will still pull in around $10 million, bring its total in the ballpark of $34 million.

Were there any losers for the Labor Day weekend? Well there’s always room for an epic fail, and this year’s comes courtesy of the awful Drew Barrymore comedy Going the Distance. The shift of the film’s release from August 27th to the holiday weekend was already a bad omen. That prophecy will prove true with dismal final opening numbers in the $9 million range when all is said and done. The romantic comedy joins The Switch as a general failure, both featuring actresses who usually hold reasonable box office appeal.

It’s time to re-invent the romantic comedy wheel, or just cast Sandra Bullock in every one of them from now on.

Contact Jim Teti at jteti@philly2philly.com 

Photo: Focus Features