Taking $30.2m in its opening weekend, the horror was the third-biggest September opening ever, behind Sweet Home Alabama (2002) and Rush Hour (1998).
Meanwhile, Steve Carell's The 40-Year-Old Virgin refused to dismount from number two, taking $7.9m over the weekend, with former number one Transporter 2 dropping to third place with $7.2m.
The US top ten movies:
1. (-) The Exorcism of Emily Rose - $30.2m
2. (2) The 40-Year-Old Virgin - $7.9m
3. (1) Transporter 2 - $7.2m
4. (3) The Constant Gardener - $4.8m
5. (4) Red Eye - $4.6m
6. (-) The Man - $4.0m
7. (5) The Brothers Grimm - $3.3m
8. (7) Wedding Crashers - $3.2m
9. (6) Four Brothers - $3.0m
10. (8) March of the Penguins - $2.5m