UPDATE Aug. 30, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.: Takers took the top spot from The Last Exorcism, final studio numbers show, $20.5 million to $20.4 million.
The world's biggest movie was back. Moviegoers weren't so much.
What happened to Avatar at the weekend box office?
For starters, the Oscar-winning James Cameron blockbuster became the first movie to ever top $750 million domestically.
In its 3-D and IMAX 3-D rerelease, the film posted the weekend's fifth-highest reported per-screen average.
That's good, too.
Everybody from prognosticators to the competition expected Avatar to gross something in the neighborhood of $15 million because it was, well, Avatar. In the end, it grossed $4 million.
So, basically, Avatar lost the expectations game.
In the real world, the film upped its domestic haul to $753.8 million.
No, not bad for a film that you've owned long enough to require a good dusting. And, yes, we should all "flop" like that.
• The Last Exorcism was produced for a reported $1.8 million. The horror flick made an estimated $21.3 million. It opened at No. 1. It was, to sum up, freakishly good.
• Takers cost a reported $32 million. The heist flick made $21 million. It just missed No. 1. It was, to sum up, surprisingly strong.
• More than half of Takers' audience was young women. So, no, Chris Brown was not a chick repellant.
• Julia Roberts' Eat Pray Love ($7 million) hasn't done anything flashy. But after three weekends of hanging in there, it has matched its reported $60 million budget.
• In its second weekend, Jennfer Aniston's The Switch ($4.7 million; $16.5 million overall) didn't take a dive, but it didn't climb, either.
• Inception ($5.1 million) topped $270 million.
• Toy Story 3 ($1.1 million), the No. 1 hit of the summer and of the year, crossed $1 billion worldwide. It's the first animated film to do so.
• Here lies the $60 million Scott Pilgrim ($2.5 million; $26.1 million overall), out of the Top 10 after two weekends, and misunderstood until its inevitable rebirth on Blu-Ray and other formats that haven't been invented yet.
Here's a complete look at the weekend's top-grossing films, per Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
Photos: Totally New Releases.