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Leonardo DiCaprio Thriller Beats Angelina Jolie Actioner: Box Office

Leonardo DiCaprio, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Inception
Angelina Jolie, Russia spy, Salt
Cillian Murphy, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy in Christopher Nolan's Inception; Angelina Jolie in Phillip Noyce's Salt (bottom)

July 25, '10, update

Christopher Nolan's Inception topped the North American box office for the second weekend in a row, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Tom Berenger,and Michael Caine, Nolan's critically acclaimed sci-fi/thriller pulled in $43.5 million.

The $160 millionWarner Bros. release was down only down 30.7 percent from last weekend. Total to date: $143.6 million.

Inception should cross the $150 million mark tomorrow, its 11th day out. It'll possibly hit the $200 million mark sometime next weekend; else, it'll reach that milestone early the following week.

In second place, the Phillip Noyce-directed Angelina Jolie $110 million vehicle Salt debuted with a solid $36.5 million, or $10,105 average at 3,612 venues. Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star.

Salt will surely hit the $100 million mark domestically, but considering its opening numbers it's highly unlikely that the spy thriller will manage to recover its production costs at the U.S. and Canada box office, as it'd need to gross approximately $200 million.

If Salt follows the pattern of most action thrillers, it'll be down by 50 percent of so by next weekend. In other words, the $200 million mark will remain quite distant.

And that's why the international market exists. Or rather, the international market is the reason – or at least one of the chief reasons – for the existence of expensive Hollywood movies such as Salt.

Overall, the domestic box office was up 8 percent in relation to a year ago, when G-Force, The Ugly Truth and Orphan opened.

Photos: Inception (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.); Salt (Andrew Schwartz / Columbia Pictures)

Selena Gomez, Joey King, Ramona and Beezus
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart in David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (top); Selena Gomez, Joey King in Elizabeth Allen's Ramona and Beezus (bottom)

Down one spot, Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and others, took in an excellent $24.1 million (down 26.5 percent) at no. 3, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Despicable Me's total to date: $161.7 million. Cost: $69 million.

The no. 4 movie was Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, with $9.68 million, down a perfectly acceptable 45 percent.

Even so, unless the foreign market comes enthusiastically to the rescue The Sorcerer's Apprentice will be a costly flop for the Jerry Bruckheimer/Disney alliance. Total to date: $42.6 million. Cost: $150 million.

Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, was no. 5 with $9.03 million. Total to date: $379.5 million. Cost: $200 million.

Expect Toy Story 3 to cross the $400 million mark within the next week or so.

At no. 6, new entry Ramona and Beezus, starring Selena Gomez, scored only $8 million at 2,719 venues ($2,942 average). According to CinemaScore, it earned an A- from moviegoers, which means its drop-off rate next weekend may not be too drastic.

Yet, the Fox release will have some trouble covering its modest $15 million production cost (not including marketing/distribution expenses) domestically, as it'd need to gross around $30 million.

Next in line was Adam Sandler's resilient Grown Ups, which brought in $7.6 million at no. 7. The critic-proof comedy has remained quite popular, especially on weekends. It was down only down 23.3 percent despite the loss of 215 locations. Total to date: $142.4 million. Cost: $80 million.

Down four spots after losing 880 theaters, the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner romantic fantasy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, brought in $7.03 million in eighth place. Total to date: $279.6 million. Cost: $68 million.

Among this year's major blockbusters in North America, Eclipse and The Karate Kid boast the best cost-to-revenue ratio. In the case of Eclipse, that's 4.1.

Rounding out the top twelve this weekend were Noah Ringer's The Last Airbender with $4.17 million (total to date: $123.2 million; cost: $150m), Adrien Brody's Predators with $2.85 million (total to date: $46.5m; cost: $40m), Mark Ruffalo's The Kids Are All Right with $2.64 million (total to date: $4.9m; cost: $4 million), James Mangold's Knight and Day with $1.7 million (total to date: $72.6m; cost: $117m).

Among the top twelve movies, The Kids Are All Right had once again the highest per-theater average, $13,174, followed by Inception with $11,473 and Salt with $10,105. Knight and Day had the lowest, $1,344.

After going from 38 to 201 theaters, The Kids Are All Right posted the biggest attendance increase, up 148.8 percent. It was followed by Grown Ups with an impressively low down 23.3 percent despite having lost more than 200 locations.

Predators, after losing 823 sites, posted the highest drop-off rate, down 59.4 percent.

Photos: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment); Ramona and Beezus (Alan Markfield / 20th Century Fox)

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl Who Played with Fire
Sandrine Kiberlain, Vincent Lindon, Mademoiselle Chambon
Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in Daniel Alfredson's The Girl Who Played with Fire (top); Sandrine Kiberlain, Vincent Lindon in Stéphane Brizé's Mademoiselle Chambon (bottom)

Despite the addition of 8 theaters, Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass' Cyrus, starring John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei, and Catherine Keener was down 35.1 percent from a week ago, according to Box Office Mojo.

Cyrus, which shouldn't open much wider than its current 454 venues, took in $709k on its sixth weekend out. Average: a low $1,564. Total to date: $6.32 million. Cost: $7 million.

For comparison's sake, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right collected nearly 3.5 times ($2.59m) as much as Cyrus at half the number of theaters (201) on its third weekend out.

Daniel Alfredson's The Girl Who Played with Fire, the follow-up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, grossed $563k after a respectable 17 percent drop from last weekend. Average: $3,417 at 167 venues. Domestic total to date: $2.94 million. Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist star.

Debra Granik's Winter's Bone is holding steady at 130 theaters. On weekend no. 7, it fell only 7.1 percent, taking in $322k for a grand total of $3.55 million. Cost: $2 million. Jennifer Lawrence star.

Also of note: Newcomer Khatta Meetha with $309k ($3,725 average), Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work with $124k ($1,256 average; total: $2.52 million), Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky with $102k ($1,555 average; total: $995,000), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with $71k ($1,081 average; total: $9.63 million), and Mademoiselle Chambon with $20.7k ($3,457 average; total: $207,000).

Additionally, Todd Solonz's Life During Wartime opened at one theater, grossing $30,507. The eclectic cast includes Shirley Henderson, Michael Lerner, Ciaran Hinds, Charlotte Rampling, Paul Reubens, and Renee Taylor.

Photo: Music Box Films (The Girl Who Played with Fire); Lorber Films (Mademoiselle Chambon)

July 24 evening update

Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, dream sequence, Inception
Angelina Jolie, Salt
Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page in Christopher Nolan's Inception; Angelina Jolie in Salt (bottom)

Christopher Nolan's Inception began its second weekend at the top of the North American box office, according to studio estimates for Friday, July 23, found at Box Office Mojo.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Tom Berenger, Tom Hardy, and Michael Caine, Nolan's well-received sci-fi/thriller took in $13.23 million, while the Phillip Noyce-directed Angelina Jolie vehicle Salt was slightly behind, with a solid $12.7 million on opening day.

Down one spot, Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and others, took in $7.32 million at no. 3. That's a remarkable beginning for the animated feature's third weekend out.

At no. 4, new entry Ramona and Beezus collected only $3 million at 2,719 venues ($1,103 average). Weekend total should hover around $10 million.

The no. 5 movie was Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, with $2.95 million.

Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, was no. 6 with $2.62 million.

Somewhat surprisingly, next in line was Adam Sandler's Grown Ups, which scored $2.4 million at no. 7. The widely panned comedy has remained quite popular, especially on weekends.

Down an alarming four spots after losing about 1,000 theaters, the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner romantic fantasy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, brought in $2.37 million in eighth place.

Rounding out the top twelve were M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender with $1.2 million, Nimród Antal's Predators with $850,000, Julianne Moore's The Kids Are All Right with $710,000, Cameron Diaz's Knight and Day with $525,000.

Among the top twelve movies, The Kids Are All Right had once again the highest per-theater average, $3,532, followed by Salt with $3,516 and Inception with $3,489. Knight and Day had the lowest, $415.

After going from 38 to 201 theaters, The Kids Are All Right posted the biggest Friday-to-Saturday increase, up 479.6 percent. It was followed by Grown Ups with an impressive up 75.3 percent despite having lost more than 200 locations.

Predators, after losing 800 sites, had the lowest up 9.8 percent.

Photos: Inception (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.); Salt (Andrew Schwartz / Columbia Pictures)

July 24 early morning

Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Inception
Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Salt
Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Inception (top); Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Angelina Jolie, Salt (bottom)

Christopher Nolan's mind-bending Inception may turn out to be the top movie at the North American box office for the second weekend in a row, according to Nikki Finke's sources, whose early, rough estimates are found at Deadline.com.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, and others, Inception grossed $13.8-$14.4 million on Friday. Total for the weekend should hover around $43 million. (Those totals can change quite a bit once Saturday and Sunday figures are computed, and after more accurate Friday estimates are released.)

In second place, the Phillip Noyce-directed Angelina Jolie vehicle Salt brought in an estimated $13.8 million at 3,600+ sites on Friday. For the weekend, the spy actioner/thriller – initially offered to Tom Cruise – should collect about $37 million.

In third place was Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's animated feature Despicable Me with $7.8 million on Friday.

That was followed by newcomer Ramona and Beezus, starring Selena Gomez, with $3 million at 2,700+ theaters. Weekend total should be close to $10 million.

Rounding out the top five was Toy Story 3 with $3 million on Friday and about $10 million for the three-day weekend.

The two big surprises found in Finke's piece are The Sorcerer's Apprentice with $3 million (minus an acceptable 45 percent) on Friday and circa $9 million for the weekend, and the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner fantasy-romance The Twilight Saga: Eclipse down at no. 8 after losing about 1,000 venues – behind the widely panned Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups.

Photos: Inception (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.); Salt (Andrew Schwartz / Columbia Pictures)

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6 Comments to Leonardo DiCaprio Thriller Beats Angelina Jolie Actioner: Box Office

  1. LilyCC

    The weirdest thing about this summer is that Eclipse and Toy Story will be the biggest hits, even though Salt and Inception have higher profile names and cost more money.

  2. hotnews

    Inception is still more superior than Salt. Movie fans still admire Inception. That's opinion of several movie watchers.

  3. tattoo ideas

    I saw it yesterday and I must say that this is an amazing movie, very dinamic, you have no rest for ninety minutes straight and Anjelina Jolie is pretty amazing in it, as always! :)

  4. Christopher Jennings

    I am happy for leonardo that his movie inception have led the movie list in ranking! The movie is really mind twisting!

  5. H.L.S.

    Eclipse has made $624 million worldwide on a $65 million dollar budget. It has been out less than a month. Clearly it is the big winner of the summer. Inception cost over $160 million and is at about $230 million worldwide. It will never get to Eclipse numbers. Neither will Robin Hood, the A-Team, Salt, or many other big budget action films. This Summer will be know as the one where Toys, an African-American karate kid, and a girl's choice between a vampire and a werewolf beat the big boys. Scott Pilgrim has hype but it will do Kickass numbers or less. There won't be any more major hits until the holiday season when Tron and Harry Potter debut.

  6. utsab

    After beautiful mind and matrix triology… i watched a movie