Movie Tuesday: The American

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american.JPGWow. You know the summer movie season’s really over—and I mean really over—when the top grossing film snags a measily $16.4 million over the weekend, even with an extra day to work with.

Sure, most of America had Labor Day off, but they sure weren’t spending it in the theaters. George Clooney’s artsy, slow-moving thriller The American topped the box office with that $16.4 mil haul I mentioned earlier. If you count just Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s receipts, The American made just a little more than $13 million—the lowest take for a No. 1 movie in two years. Machete, director Robert Rodriguez’ incredibly bloody, raunchy, politically-infused action film, finished second with $14 million, while Takers took third with around $13.5 million.

What lessons can we take from this week’s box-office lab? That Clooney, styled by some as the world’s last true movie star, doesn’t have the drawing power you’d expect from one. That fanboy films (think Machete, Kick A–, etc.) need to draw more than fanboys if they’re going to succeed. And that people have better things to do with a holiday weekend than munching artificially flavored popcorn.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  stevmm:

I wanted to go see a movie with my friends this weekend, but after coming here and looking at the movies I was really conflicted. None of the movies out right now seemed like they would be at all fun, edifying, and clean; three qualities a movie must have for me to go watch it.

So we found a theater that was still showing a movie released almost a month ago that had been an 'almost,' something that had been edged out by a better movie when first released. It was still better than the current crop of releases.

The real takeaway of the week ought to be 'if you release only movies that are garbage, don't be surprised when nobody wants to see them.'