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Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘Avatar’ takes on ‘Takers,’ ‘Exorcism’

HollywoodNews.com: Summer is almost over and with a number of major tentpoles out of the way, studios are taking risks at the box office.

“Avatar: Special Edition” will be in play at 811 venues – theaters that are strictly 3D Digital or Imax hubs. James Cameron has been on a press tour for the film — one of its new intriguing sequences being the 20 second Na’vi sex scene – and he believes that there’s an audience out there who hasn’t seen the film in 3D and wants to see it again; even if they watched it on DVD.

B.O. analysts think “Avatar: Special Edition” could gross anywhere from $5-$20 million. Already the sci-fi Oscar Best Picture nominee has become the highest grossing at the global B.O. with $2.7 billion. $750 million of that figure was made in the U.S. and Canada.

The Tomatometer has yet to log reviews for the new cut of “Avatar.”

Screen Gems/Sony’s actioner “Takers” and Lionsgate’s “The Last Exorcism” will vie for top slots on the charts and are predicted to make $15-20 million each. “Takers” tells the story of a $20 million bank robbery gone awry and stars Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown and Zoe Saldana among others.

“Takers,” which cost $32 million, will play in 2,206 theaters. It has scored a 27% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes. Most critics have yet to file more reviews, but Lou Lumenick of the New York Post liked the film exclaiming, “A Michael Mann-ish heist thriller with a pulse-pounding foot chase and some terrific stunt work offsetting its hackneyed plot and dialogue.”

Lionsgate’s looks to be in the black on “Last Exorcism” which was independently financed for $2 million and was picked up by the distributor for a similar amount. Horror is the studio’s forte and they have plugged the film around the internet.

“Exorcism” is booked at 2,874 theaters and its PG-13 ratings is a plus to lure in teens.

“Exorcism” follows a Louisiana preacher’s final termination of a devil-possessed teen on a rural farm and the unexpected challenges he faces. “Exorcism” is receiving a very nice 69% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Sean O’Connell, writing for the Washington Post, exclaims “Exorcism” as “an anxious psychological horror that’s vaguely familiar yet refreshingly original.”

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Photo Credit: Fox, Sony, Lionsgate

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