'Last Exorcism' is first at box office

'Takers' lands at No. 2; 'Avatar' re-release misses top ten

The devil took the lead at the boxoffice on Friday as Lionsgate launched "The Last Exorcism" in the top spot, while James Cameron's "Avatar" staged a 3D return to theaters as its cumulative domestic gross crossed $750 million.

The PG-13 "Exorcism," directed by Daniel Stamm, handily beat back all comers as it attracted an estimated $9.4 million in 2,874 theaters in North America.

"Takers," the weekend's other wide opener, ranked second for the day. Sony/Screen Gems' PG-13 crime tale, starring Hayden Christensen and Chris Brown and directed by John Luessenhop, grabbed $7.5 million in 2,206 theaters.

Playing in just 812 3D locations, Fox's "Avatar" was further down the list, falling just outside the top ten for the day. But its gross of just over $1.2 million was enough to raise the film's already stratospheric domestic tally to more than $751 million.

Rounding out the top five, Lionsgate's macho "The Expendables," which has commanded the boxoffice for the past two weeks, shifted to number three as it took in about $2.7 million as it climbs above the $75 million mark this weekend.

Sony's Julie Roberts starrer "Eat Pray Love" was fourth with $2.2 million. And the same studio's comedy "The Other Guys" was fifth with $1.9 million.
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