'Last Exorcism' comes first at North American box office

New release "The Last Exorcism," a gruesome documentary-style horror movie, beat out competitors for the North American box office top spot this weekend, preliminary figures showed Sunday.

The movie, directed by Daniel Stamm and co-produced by Eli Roth, a director known for his bloody thrillers, follows a disillusioned minister supposedly filming his last exorcism for a documentary.

The new release took 21.3 million dollars in its first weekend in US and Canadian theaters, according to preliminary figures from Exhibor Relations, beating out another newcomer "Takers."

The crime action, starring Hayden Christensen, singers Chris Brown and T.I., and Idris Elba, follows the exploits of a group of professional thieves who take on one last job.

It took 21 million dollars in box office receipts over the weekend, pushing last week's number one move, old school action flick "The Expendables" to the number three spot.

"Expendables," Sylvester Stallone's film about a group of weathered mercenaries out to topple a South American dictator, earned 9.5 million dollars in its third week in theaters.

Down one spot to number four was "Eat, Pray, Love," Ryan Murphy's adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's novel about a divorcee's jaunt to Italy, Indonesia and India, starring Julia Roberts.

It earned seven million dollars in its third week of release.

Staying put at number five was "The Other Guys," the latest Will Ferrell slapstick comedy, about two mismatched police officers paired on a high-profile crime investigation. It earned an estimated 6.6 million dollars.

Down four places to number six was "Vampires Suck," a send-up of the "Twilight" series of heart throb-meets-horror films, which took 5.3 million dollars after debuting last week at the number two spot.

After spending last week at ninth place, blockbuster "Inception" jumped back up two places to number seven, showing the movie's staying power with audiences.

The mindbending flick, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as an expert infiltrator of people's dreams, took 5.1 million dollars over the weekend to bring its seven week earnings to 270.7 million dollars.

"Nanny McPhee Returns," the sequel to a popular kid's film starring British actress Emma Thompson in the title role, stayed put at number eight, earning 4.7 million dollars, while Jennifer Aniston's latest romantic comedy "The Switch" slipped two spots to number nine with earnings of 4.65 million dollars.

Rounding out the top 10 was summer horror spoof "Piranha 3D," which slipped four places after debuting last week and took in 4.3 million dollars.

sah/mac

 

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