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Heist Thriller 'Takers' Grabs Weekend Box Office

Heist Thriller 'Takers' Grabs Weekend Box Office 1The heist thriller “Takers” has stolen the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office from the fright flick “The Last Exorcism.” Hollywood is finishing its summer with record revenue, thanks to IMAX and 3-D, but the lowest actual movie attendance in five years.

“Takers” debuted with $20.5 million to grab to grab a narrow win over “The Last Exorcism,” which opened in second-place with $20.4 million, according to final studio numbers Monday.

Based on studio estimates a day earlier, “The Last Exorcism” had a thin lead over “Takers.” But the movies switched places once final weekend numbers were released.

Domestic receipts from the first weekend in May through the upcoming Labor Day weekend should come in at about $4.35 billion — $100 million more than the record set last year, according to Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.

Top 20 Movies

U.S. and Canadian Friday through Sunday; source: Hollywood.com.

1. “Takers,” Sony Screen Gems, $20,512,304, 2,206 locations, one week.

2. “The Last Exorcism,” Lionsgate, $20,366,613, 2,874 locations, one week.

3. “The Expendables,” Lionsgate, $9,527,937, 3,398 locations, Cume $82,040,183, three weeks.

4. “Eat Pray Love,” Sony, $6,815,555, 3,108 locations, Cume $60,531,326, three weeks.

5. “The Other Guys,” Sony, $6,285,712, 3,181 locations, Cume $99,018,172, four weeks.

6. “Vampires Suck,” Fox, $5,221,780, 3,233 locations, Cume $27,834,256, two weeks.

7. “Inception,” Warner Bros., $4,876,356, 2,070 locations, Cume $270,519,920, seven weeks.

8. “Nanny McPhee Returns,” Universal, $4,714,215, 2,798 locations, Cume $16,991,285, two weeks.

9. “The Switch,” Miramax, $4,583,481, 2,017 locations, Cume $14,831,771, two weeks.

10. “Piranha 3D,” Weinstein Co., $4,302,878, 2,491 locations, Cume $18,266,889, two weeks.

11. “Avatar,” Fox, $4,007,750, 812 locations, $753,773,889, one week.

12. “Lottery Ticket,” Warner Bros., $3,854,303, Cume, $17,284,641, two weeks.

13. “Despicable Me,” Universal, $2,859,680, 1,833 locations, Cume $30,749,875, eight weeks.

14. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” Universal, $2,505,555, 1,566 locations, Cume $26,166,945, three weeks.

15. “Salt,” Sony, $1,883,890, 1,168 locations, $1,613 average, Cume $113,260,644, six weeks.

16. “Dinner For Schmucks,” Paramount, $1,779,540, 1,501 locations, Cume $69,204,372, five weeks.

17. “Step Up 3D,” Disney, $1,227,816, 901 locations, Cume $39,715,304, four weeks.

18. “Toy Story 3,” Disney, $1,010,710, 600 locations, Cume $405,659,221, 11 weeks.

19. “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore,” Warner Bros., $675,231, Cume $41,279,244, five weeks.

20. “The Kids Are All Right,” Focus, $522,172, 342 locations, Cume $19,149,701, eight weeks.

Attendance is down because of a steep rise in ticket prices, due mainly to a surge in 3-D screenings, which cost a few dollars more than regular movie admissions.

Through Labor Day, the actual number of tickets sold during the summer season is expected to come in at 552 million, the lowest since 563.2 million tickets were sold in summer 2005, Dergarabedian estimated Monday.

Ticket prices this year are averaging $7.88, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners. That’s up 38 cents, or 5 percent, from 2009.

“To have record revenue built on the back of much higher ticket prices, in a way, it’s kind of a shallow victory. You want to see attendance go up every year, not down,” Dergarabedian said.

The summer delivered some huge crowd-pleasers, led by Disney’s “Toy Story 3,” which followed “Shrek 2” as just the second animated film to top $400 million at the domestic box office.

Paramount’s “Iron Man 2” shot past $300 million, while Summit Entertainment’s “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” has almost hit that mark.

Topping $200 million were the Warner Bros. release “Inception,” Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek Forever After” and Universal’s “Despicable Me.”

Sony had three $100 million hits with “The Karate Kid,” ”Grown Ups” and “Salt.”

Other releases failed to live up to the hype of summer blockbuster season, among them the Warner Bros. sequel “Sex and the City 2,”

Disney’s “The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and 20th Century Fox’s “Marmaduke” and “Knight and Day.”

“Audiences were underwhelmed, and they voted with their absence,” Dergarabedian said. “If you asked most people what they thought of the quality of the movies, it’s kind of a so-so summer.

“We could have done a lot worse were it not for films like ‘Inception’ and ‘Toy Story 3,'” he said.

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