Box Office: Last Exorcism and Takers Battle for First Place

Update: Predicatably, “Takers” overtook (ahem) “The Last Exorcism” by about $200,000 after final numbers were in.

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How long before we get “The Last Exorcism 2: We Didn’t Actually Mean The First Movie Was The Last One, Honest”? Call it the “Paranormal Activity” of 2010, because Daniel Stamm’s low-budget, shot-from-a-camera horror film scored big on its first week of release, luring in $21.3 million worth of moviegoers to claim the top spot over the bigger budgeted heist film “Takers”, which nabbed $21 million in its own debut, according to studio estimates. Of course, when films are this close to call (a measly $300,000 separating them), the positions of “Exorcism” and “Takers” could easily swap when final numbers are actually recorded on Monday.

Until then, though, it looks like “The Last Exorcism” is king of the box office heap, pushing last week’s #1 “The Expendables” to third place with $9.5 million. In its third week of release, Sylvester Stallone’s gathering of action stars has accumulated $82 million so far, with the lucrative overseas action market still waiting to be dived into. No wonder everyone involved in the film have been talking sequel since week one.

Meanwhile, James Cameron’s re-release of “Avatar” opened in 812 3D screens to the tune of $4 million, with a $4,926 per screen average. Compare this to “The Last Exorcism”, which opened to a $7,411 per screen average, or “Takers”, which did even better with a $9,519 per screen average. I guess when it comes down to it, even “Avatar” fans didn’t feel like paying extra to see “Avatar” in 3D on the big screen again. Apparently olJames Cameron and 20th Century Fox didn’t get the memo that the film has already sold a gazilion copies on DVD and Blu-ray, and most fans didn’t feel like playing bonus theater tickets to see 9 extra minutes of blue people running around a CG jungle. Maybe they’ll do better with the “Avatar: Really, Really Special Edition” version.

'One possessed white chick? We can take her, bro.'