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Since opening Wednesday, the Focus Features release has taken in $19.5 million.
The 20th Century Fox revenge romp “Machete” and Sony’s heist thriller “Takers” were in a duel for second-place.
“Machete” led with $14 million from Friday to Monday. “Takers” followed with $13.5 million, though the two movies were close enough that rankings could change once final numbers are released Tuesday.
“Takers,” which had been the No. 1 movie the previous weekend, raised its 10-day total to $40 million.
It was a typically quiet Labor Day period for Hollywood, a transition weekend as summer blockbuster season ends and young audiences prepare for the start of the school year.
Hollywood closed its busiest season with record revenue of $4.35 billion, about $100 million more than the previous high set last summer, according to Hollywood.com, which tracks box office. Yet because of higher ticket prices, movie attendance slipped to about 552 million, the lowest since summer 2005, said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
“This is a perfectly unspectacular end to a perfectly unspectacular summer,” Dergarabedian said. “If you look at how low the attendance figure dropped, that’s the audience telling Hollywood this crop of movies was good, but not good enough to get us out in huge numbers.”
“Machete” features a cast including Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal and Lindsay Lohan in a bloody tale of a former Mexican federal cop (Danny Trejo) taking on crooks, dirty politicians and thugs by the score.
With Clooney’s appeal to adult audiences, “The American” dominated older crowds, while “Machete” was a hit with Hispanics, who accounted for 60 percent of the movie’s viewers.
“The whole marketing campaign was thrust at the Latino audience, and they have clearly responded and embraced the movie,” said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox. “I would go so far as to say Danny Trejo is the first Latino superhero.”
With $3.9 million over the long weekend, Universal’s animated hit “Despicable Me” raised its haul to $241.3 million, surpassing the $238.4 million take of DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek Forever After,” which failed to catch the same box-office fire as the franchise’s earlier installments.
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