Hitman Clooney's 'American' Wins Weekend With $16.4M; 'Machete,' 'Takers' Battle For No. 2

Violante Placido and George Clooney in Focus Features' The American Violante Placido and George Clooney in Focus Features' The American

George Clooney’s hitman tale “The American” has captured the top spot at the box office with a $16.4 million debut over the long Labor Day weekend.

The revenge romp “Machete” and the heist thriller “Takers” were in a duel for second-place.

“Machete” led with $14 million from Friday to Monday. “Takers” followed with $13.5 million, though the two movies were close enough that rankings could change once final numbers are released Tuesday.

“Takers,” which had been the No. 1 movie the previous weekend, raised its 10-day total to $40 million.

Since opening Wednesday, “The American” has taken in $19.5 million.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Drew Barrymore’s romance “Going the Distance,” opened with $8.6 million.

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