It's true. There's a surprise ending. Did people like it? Find out for yourself. People did definitely like a film about people taking things called Takers, and people still feel pretty good about Julia Roberts too.
1) The Last Exorcism — $21.3M
This movie might not be number one. When we get final numbers, it could fall behind Takers. But for now, it reigns supreme. And it ought to only for this weekend. According to the weekly entertainments, this thing was reviled by audiences, likely because of a surprise twist ending that shocked and outraged. I dunno, I read a spoiler thingy about the ending, and it sounded kind of fascinating! I mean, it's Professor Lasky, and he's doing an exercise routine or whatever, and then Kelly is like "Professor Lasky, we can't date anymore," and Bob Golic walks in and bursts into tears for being horrible, and then Dustin Diamond rouses from his haze of misery to say some terrible line. Then the two girls who are new characters shoot each other in the faces and die, and then Zach comes in, all bloated and puffy (remember that? weird) and proposes to Kelly while Professor Lasky sobs on a couch in the common room. Holland Taylor walks by to pick up her paycheck and Mario Lopez flexes and dreams of the future. That's what happens at the end of The Last Exorcism. In some ways, that's what happens at the end of all movies. (But seriously, if you clicked through just to read about the ending, here you go.)
2) Takers — $21M
Takers! Hip dudes taking. Putting on fedora hats and sticking silver guns in the back of their pants and then taking. Mark your calendars for the sequel, Acquirers. Plan ahead for the threequel, Runners. Takers: People who take things. Movie titles: Things that exist. Hayden Christensen: A beautiful Canadian swan who lucked into an acting career. Takers. Taking things since Friday 2010. Zoe Saldana & Idris Elba: In both Takers and The Losers. Teenage boys: Saggy-panted idiots around whom an entire industry orbits. Takers: Come watch Chris Brown be violent. Hold onto your butts for the fourquel, Walkers. Why stop there, when the following summer you could go see Putters, about them putting it all back. August: A movie dumping ground. Takers: A film by Antoine Fuqua's Scottish terrier. Takers: No match for Professor Lasky and the gang at California University.
4) Eat Pray Love — $7M
This film has now made back its $60m budget (before marketing). So put another feather in your floppy cap, Julie Robards. You're gonna do it again. Somehow you turned the story of a privileged woman congratulating herself for spending money into a story that people want to pay money to see. Only Jules Reingold can do that kind of thing. You put a Nicole Kirkman or a Sandrine Bullcock on that one, and I don't think it would work quite the same. People just really like to see Jolie Rendigard smiling in a knowing, eternally pleased with herself way. That's become her stock in trade, hasn't it? She used to be the vivacious big-mouthed laugher, but now that she's older, people like to see that joy turned inward and then reflected back out in odd, saturnine ways. Jenky Rimbot has become such a weird cipher of an actress. Is she really acting anymore? Is there anyone even there? Or is it all just a patch of late-afternoon light that we like to lie in for an hour or two? Let's bring her back to Broadway and see what's really going on there, is what I say we do. What do you think, Josie?
9) The Switch — $4.6M
Ohhh dear. Week two, an even worse disaster. Sometimes now when she wakes up, she feels a kind of spidered clottiness in her brain. She worries that it's a tumor and calls Courteney to tell her she's dying. Court laughs it off and says "Remember Dirt? Remember how I thought I had stomach cancer back then? It was just nerves and anxiety, hon." But that doesn't make her feel better. She walks out onto the terrace, poking at the dark spot in her skull, and she looks out over the sweeping-yet-dull Los Angeles vista and she thinks about wrapping herself up in a blanket made of money, lying down on the chaise, closing her eyes, pulling the blanket tight, and never moving again. Just sleeping and humming and not thinking dark thoughts for the rest of time. Even in the rain. But then the phone rings and it's her agent and he's consolatory but stern in that odd parental way he can be and he tells her what's next on the slate and she sighs and watches a fly bang against the window, over and over and over again, trying to get out of the house. "I need a change," she says to her agent, who chuckles darkly and says "You need a switch?" The joke falls dead flat and she hangs up on him. She needs wine and bed, not necessarily in that order. She presses the smooth white button on the intercom and calls for her assistant. "Judy? We're having one of those days. Meet me upstairs with the foot massager, will you?" But Judy doesn't answer and she wonders if Judy even exists, if she just made her up. Just then the doorbell rings and she stands, very still, and wonders if she should answer it. She wonders. The fly, in the background, finds its way out and disappears into the smog.
10) Piranha 3D — $4.3M
Well, that's that. This is sort of the Snakes on a Plane of this summer. Only, y'know, way less hyped. But it does have the same kind of ridiculous camp appeal, a force that really doesn't drive a movie past one week these days. So now Ving Rhames has to figure out what to do. What to do. And Richard Dreyfuss has to look down at his hand, at the little blue mound it's holding, and think "We're gonna need a bigger Zoloft." Jerry O'Connell has to flip through his old Sliders scrapbook and think about all the good times, so long ago now. And now he's doing what, having his penis eaten off by fish for a living? Is that any way for a former costar of John Rhys Davies to make a living? What would Kari Wuhrer say? And up in cool-cat heaven, Steve McQueen has to look down and shake his head and wonder just what the Bullitt his grandson, Steven R. McQueen, is doing to the family name being in that muckish picture. But then a young-looking Anne Bancroft will sidle up and purr in his ear "We got a little while 'til Mel's home..." and he'll forget all about it again. And the piranhas will have to continue nibbling away, nibble nibble nibble, quick little bites, a chorus of ache, eating us all from the inside out.