'Machete' and 'The American' neck and neck at Friday box office

macheteImage Credit: Rico TorresEarly estimates put Machete just a slice ahead of The American at the Friday box office — the former took in roughly $3.9 million for first place, while the latter banked about $3.8 million for second place — but it’s still too close to predict which film will win the Labor Day weekend. Both films appear to be on track for anywhere between $15 and $16 million for the four-day holiday, but The American received a deadly “D-” CinemaScore, and the bad word-of-mouth portends a steep drop off for the Europe-set thriller. (Machete, by contrast, got a “B” CinemaScore.)

The news doesn’t get much better for the other film debuting this weekend, the Drew Barrymore-Justin Long rom com Going the Distance: While it did enjoy a decent “B” CinemaScore grade, it grossed an anemic $2.2 million on Friday for fifth place, and will likely struggle just to make it past $9 million for the four-day holiday. Last weekend’s top two films, meanwhile, round out the top five for Friday: Takers took in about $3 million for third place, and a four-day total heading towards $14 million; and The Last Exorcism scared up around $2.3 million for fourth place, and a holiday cume north of $9 million.

Check back here on Monday morning for the complete Labor Day holiday box office report.

Comments (49 total) Add your comment
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  • gera


    • Ryan


    • TheCriticizer

      Wow, ‘The American’ did much better than expected. Too bad that Clooney is a show-off douche who doesn’t even help the people in his own country. We’re suffering here Clooney, we’re suffering.

      • clooneylover

        I pray youre not serious. youre probably so obese.

      • Barry

        He’d rather help Hatians than his own people. DIRTBAG!

      • K

        What are you talking about? He helped organize both the 9/11 and Katrina charity events. Whole generations of families are be whiped out in Haiti, Sudan, and Pakistan. But you obviously don’t care if non-americans are murdered? Show some heart and compassion like Clooney. Who helps people wether they are americans or not.

      • Ben Pieper

        Ur a tard…Clooney’s awesome i dont care if he murders a a puppy. Still a great actor

      • andy

        Barry–he’s helping people whose country was destroyed by an earthquake…but then they’re mostly Black so wtf do YOU care?

      • Cliff

        I’m getting my head around one of the replies saying “He’d rather help Hatians than his own people.” Aren’t people from other countries human beings as well?

      • Rich

        @TheCriticizer: Keep posting this in every thread ’til someone cares.

      • Niix Starkyller

        I’ll never understand the backlash against celebs who go out of their way (beyond even the CV-friendly charity work) to help those in need.

    • Dan

      I don’t think being first counts if you don’t contribute someting to the topic being discussed. Good for ‘Machete'; it looks like fun.

  • m1

    These CinemaScores seem so extreme. Not to mention unbelievable. I think I’m going to stick to IMDb for user grades.

  • Inception?

    I saw if for the third time yesterday and the theater was pretty crowded

    • tlo

      Or maybe you just dreamed that you saw it and the theatre was crowded.

      • sb

        lolz. props dude.

  • LOL

    Machete don’t text.

    • MchL


    • Niix Starkyller

      Machete improvises.

  • Anna

    To anyone who saw The American, is the cinemascore reasonable? A “D-” for a Clooney movie is shocking to me. Was it really that bad?

    • Jack

      It’s a response to the second trailer and TV spots, which portrayed the film as George Clooney in The Bourne Ultimatum.

      • Niix Starkyller

        I agree. They should’ve stuck with the original trailer. At least people would know what they’re getting. 21stC Marketing: “This is just as cool as the last thing we told you was cool!”

    • Lando

      The American certainly wasn’t bad, definitely not a D-. However, it has been marketed as a Bourne-esque European thriller when really it is a heavy drama that’s more of a character study if anything. Focus sold it as a thriller for a bigger box office and wide release, The American is normally the type of film you’d see at an art theater.

      Cinemascores are evidence of just how dumb the moviegoing public can be, if a serious and beautifully shot film like The American gets a D- and Transformers 2 gets a B+, you know the system is flawed.

      • m1

        Transformers 2 got a B+ there? Oh WOW, that system MUST be terrible.

      • GML

        If what you are saying is accurate about the marketing than the cinemascore grade may have more to do with retaliation against the marketing than the movie going public being dumb. Dumb? I can be in the mood for an art house character study or I can be in the mood for some mindless fun to take my mind of my daily grind. It has nothing to do with intelligence but if the marketing leads me to something I wasn’t expecting than I’m going to feel a little used and maybe give it a bad score.

    • Cliff

      CinemaScore polls audiences who actually saw the movie, so since the audience is already pre-disposed to like the movie (they bought a ticket and see it opening weekend), a movie generally should score B or higher with its audience. A grade of B- or lower is usually a danger sign.

    • Hype Biggs

      YES, the American is a DRAG

    • AQS

      I actually really enjoyed ‘The American’ (I would give it a B+), but the marketing was SO OFF. I knew, going in, that it was going to be an extremely slow existential piece, but the couple behind be were clearly shocked by the pace. Hmpf. Regardless, I think it’s fantastic that the film is doing well (George Clooney’s box office draw?), and find the D- to be shocking.

  • Cash

    Danny trejo beats A llist George and drew. Rotflmao ! Rapper T.I and bow wow did better business on their opening weekends than george And drew . d listers are beating the so called a listers . How much do they pay clooney to tank the films? I’ve read people were booing at the theatre during he American , some walk outs and even some asking for their money back lol

    • tipsy

      The American had a bait and switch marketing that made it look like an action-packed Bourne rip off when it`s really a dull talky. That`s what I`ve heard and I would`ve asked for the refund too because the movie wasn`t what it was advertised to be.

      OTOH, Machete getting only a B from geeks isn`t a good sign either. Its only audience doesn`t think it`s “the best movie evah” so expect a free fall next week. Still, good job in relation to small budget. Trejo will now go back to Sy Fy movies and DtD, just like Eric Roberts is going back to those between guest stints in mainstream fares (TDK, TE). Anyone who thinks that Hollywood would swap its favorite son Clooney for Trejo or swap any A lister for Z lister with a flash-in-a-pan movie is dreaming. There`s no demand for Trejo among the public. Machete is a one-off joke that will remain a one-off joke.

      • Cash

        True but Clooney’s movies will continue to bomb. His biggest opening was batman how many years ago? LoL he pretty much plays the same smug character in all his movies too .

  • PNK

    I’m going to see American tomorrow, it looks and sounds intriguing and I missed Clooney’s last one.
    The reviews won’t make or break these films – it’s what people do to make a blockbuster or don’t. Machete is the type of film to draw the type of audience who’ll make it a blockbuster; American is a different type of film and that audience isn’t the type to make a film a blockbuster.
    Use your own mind and see films you want, pay no attention to reviews!

  • GT

    The people who go see “Machete” know exactly what they’re gonna see: mindless violent amusement. If the movie is no Oscar contender, well it’s kinda expected… it’s an extension of the “Grindhouse” kind of movie, it’s what it’s been sold as: WYSIWYG.

    • Alicia

      “Machete” was hilarious, and very witty, and made it’s social and political points in an entertaining way. The cast was terrific, even the ones who can’t act (like Jessica Alba and Stephen Seagal) were fun to watch. I am rooting for this movie to be a big hit. And three cheers for Danny Trejo. He’s unlikely to become a leading man as a result of this movie, but it’s nice to see someone who usually plays a villain get to carry his own movie.

  • Rekcuf Yeh

    Machete is too much gross-sicko-violence and the nudity is all CGI (WTF? Is this how all nudity is going to be now?). The American is a boring film. Going the Distance is very dumbed down and much less mature than the people involved, so disrespectful to its intended audience…and Drew used to make good rom-coms (The Wedding Singer, Ever After, Never Been Kissed, Fever Pitch). I don’t know if its terrible writers or someone screwing with the scripts, but the last few years has to be the worst in cinema history. Not enough good films to support the industry.

  • Chris

    I’m suprised Machete is going to do so well. I saw it at 9:40 on Friday night and there were only about 15 people in the theatre.

    • Buxxer

      Yeah, I saw it Friday night as well, at 10:30, and there were only about 8 people there. This kinda surprised me, actually.

  • Adwina Lambert

    retire hasbeen drunk lilo! teehee!

  • mike

    if clooney wasn’t in this and it had subtitles, the hipsters would be eating it up. i liked it. def not a mainstream movie. opening this film in limited art house theaters probably would have been a smart release strategy for this film

  • Al

    Clooney can’t open. He has had three $100 million movies in the last ten years. Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13. He has no other hits. He is a good actor but not a marketable movie star.

    • carlosdev

      Actually Clooney did have a big hit in The Perfect Storm. Perhaps you remember it. Also, he’s done O Brother Where Art Thou which did decent business as did Out of Sight. Up in the Air also made money, as did Michael Clayton. He’s certainly not in the league of, say, Will Smith or Tom Hanks but he’s had his share of success.


    George Clooney IS AN EGOMANIAC who would rather date a 33-year-old Italian goldigging cokehead former model than an older woman his own age who has a head on her shoulders. He’s the type of extreme narcissist who thinks he’s too good for a 50 year old woman even though he’s 50 himself.

    • Michael S.

      Wow…woman scorned, much?

    • JB

      Are you kidding? 50 year old women are typically unattractive to 50 year old men, movie stars or not. That you believe otherwise indicates you’re a victim of feminist brainwashing.

  • JohnM

    Went to see The American last evening. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat through a movie I felt like walking out on after the first half hour.

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