'The American' tops weekend box office

'Takers' stays strong at No, 2, 'Machete' in third

George Clooney's "The American" pulled ahead of "Machete" as the No. 1 movie in America, according to Sunday box office estimates. (THR Reviews: "Machete" and "The American.")

The Focus Features film earned $13 million, while Sony Screen Gems' "Takers" -- which led the box office last weekend -- came in No. 2 with $11.4 million.

"Machete," which has seen its fair share of press and controversy, slipped to third with $11.3 million. Early Friday estimates had put it ahead of "The American," when it made $3.9 million to Clooney's $3.8 million.  (But The Hollywood Reporter wrote Saturday that Clooney's film would likely win the Labor Day weekend box office war because it would attract more couples on date night than Robert Rodriguez's gory genre pic.)

Rounding out the top five was Lionsgate's "Last Exorcism," which has traditionally attracted a heavily Catholic audience, with $7.5 million, or $32.3 cumulative. "Going the Distance," which stars Drew Barrymore and on-again/off-again love interest Justin Long, made $6.9 million.