'Machete' could edge out 'Going the Distance' at the US box office

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The Independent Culture

This holiday weekend marks the end of summer in the US and back-to-school with three films making their debuts but no clear blockbuster - not even George Clooney in The American.

With each film looking to earn between $10 to $15 million, a repeat of last weekend's face-off between Takers and The Last Exorcism is likely.

The film with the biggest buzz according to Fandango, the ticket sales outfit, is the action picture Machete. Co-directed and produced by Robert Rodriguez ( Grindhouse, Sin City), it could pull in $15 million, according to Entertainment Weekly. The Hollywood Reporter estimates the figure closer to $10 or $12 million with action film Takers splitting moviegoers.

Machete features an ensemble cast with Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Seagal, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, and Danny Trejo which should draw audiences.

The film most likely to grab the lead for the top spot from Machete is romantic-comedy Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore. It also looks at a box office of $10 to $15 million. Co-starring Justin Long ( Funny People), the film should attract couples and females.

The American, an international assassin thriller starring Clooney, should come in third despite the star power, based on its $1.7 million opening Wednesday.

Hurricane warnings and bad weather on the US East Coast could impact theater attendance, while holdovers from last weekend, such as horror movie The Last Exorcism, could lure ticket buyers.