‘American’ is tops at holiday B.O.

Clooney starrer takes in $12.9 mil to win weekend

The holiday weekend is shaping up to be a patriotic affair.

The new George Clooney drama “The American” tops the box office this weekend, with the Focus Features pic expected to earn about $12.9 million in 2,823 engagements for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Chasing it for the No. 2 position is Fox’s “Machete,” which is expected to earn about $12.3 million in 2,670 runs. “Takers,” a Screen Gems/Sony pic comes in at No. 3 with about $11.4 million in 2,206 engagements, while Lionsgate “The Last Exorcism” grabs an estimate of $7.7 million in 2,874 runs. Rounding out the top 5 is Drew Barrymore’s Warner Bros. romantic comedy, “Going the Distance, which earned about $7.1 million in 3,030 engagements.

Lionsgate actioner “The Expendables” is still holding strong into its fourth frame; the pic takes in about $7 million in 3,398 runs, and buddy pic “The Other Guys” makes Sony about $5.1 million in 2,607 engagements. Another Sony film, Julia Roberts’ “Eat Pray Love,” earns about $4.8 million, while “Inception” trails with about $4.7 million in 1,704 engagements.

Universal’s “Nanny McPhee Returns” rounds out the top ten with an estimate of $3.8 million in 2,708 runs.