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'Inception' Meaning? Blockbuster

Inception Marion Cotillard dream lady gun'Inception' with Marion Cotillard (and Ken Watanabe): Dream lady's gotta a gun.

'Inception' only 'original' live-action movie to pass $200 million milestone so far this year

Aug. 6, '10, update: Inception, the current no. 1 movie at the North American box office, crossed the $200 million milestone on Tuesday, Aug. 3, '10, its 19th day out. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Nolan's thriller/sci-fier earned $4.12 million, for a domestic cume of $201.7 million.

Inception can now be found at no. 35 on Box Office Mojo's chart (not adjusted for inflation or 3D/IMAX surcharges) of the fastest movies to reach $200 million at the U.S. and Canada box office. It's sandwiched between Jay Roach's lowbrow comedy Meet the Fockers (2004), starring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro, and Pixar/Disney's animated Finding Nemo (2003).

Inception is only the seventh 2010 release to have passed the $200 million mark. It's also the only original live-action movie (as in, not a sequel, not a remake, not based on a another property) to have achieved that feat.

Although the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg action comedy The Other Guys is expected to be the no. 1 movie on U.S. and Canadian screens this coming weekend, don't be too surprised if Christopher Nolan's sci-fier gives Ferrell, Wahlberg, et al. some tough competition later on.

'Inception' cast

Besides three-time Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, 1993; The Aviator, 2004; Blood Money, 2006), the Inception cast includes the following:

Best Actress Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, 2007).

Two-time Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters, 1986; The Cider House Rules, 1999).

Best Actress Oscar nominee Ellen Page (Juno, 2007).

Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father, 1993).

Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Tom Berenger (Platoon, 1986).

Tom Hardy. Ken Watanabe. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Dileep Rao. Cillian Murphy. Lukas Haas.

'Despicable Me' $200 million milestone'Despicable Me': $200 million milestone a couple of days after 'Inception.'

'Despicable Me' passes $200 million mark

Aug. 6, '10, update: Despicable Me pulled in $2.3 million on Thursday, Aug. 5, thus passing the $200 million mark at the domestic box office on Day 28. Total to date: $200,003,985.

Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin's animated feature is only the eighth 2010 release to pass that milestone, two days after Inception. It's also Universal's sole bright spot of the year, following disappointments and downright disasters such as The Wolfman, Robin Hood, Repo Men, Leap Year, Green Zone, and last week's release Charlie St. Cloud.

Despicable Me features the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, and Best Actress Oscar winner Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, 1964).

More box office tallies

Also on Thursday, Jay Roach's Dinner for Schmucks, starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, was the no. 2 movie – trailing Inception – with $2.74 million.

Trailing Despicable Me at no. 4 was the Angelina Jolie thriller Salt with $2.2 million, followed by Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore with $1.66 million.

Universal's Zac Efron weepie Charlie St. Cloud, after dropping nearly 10 percent from the day before, brought in $1.34 million at no. 6.

Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, scored $832,000 at no. 7.

Next in line was the Selena Gomez vehicle Ramona and Beezus, which collected $743,000.

'Eclipse' on its way out of the Top Twelve

Rounding out the Top Twelve were:

Curiously, Grown Ups seems to perform really well only on weekends. So, are 12-year-olds and their “guardians” the only ones going to watch this?

 

Ken Watanabe and Marion Cotillard Inception image: Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.

Despicable Me image: Universal Pictures.

Inception Leonardo DiCaprio Summer blockbuster'Inception' with Leonardo DiCaprio: Summer blockbuster.

Domestic box office: 'Inception' passes $150 million milestone

July 28 update: Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, among others, Christopher Nolan's well-received sci-fi/thriller Inception was the no. 1 movie at the North American box office on Tuesday, July 27, '10.

According to Box Office Mojo, in addition to boasting the highest per-theater average among the top twelve movies on the domestic box office chart – $1,600 (same as yesterday) – Inception, on its 12th day out, also managed to pass the $150 million milestone it had failed to reach on Monday.

Inception is no. 41 on Box Office Mojo's all-time domestic chart (not adjusted for inflation or 3D/IMAX surcharges) of the fastest movies to reach $150 million domestically, sandwiched between Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and Andrew Stanton and co-director Lee Unkrich's Finding Nemo (2003).

$150 million in 12 days or less

The other 2010 releases to have passed the $150 million mark in 12 days or less are:

  • David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
    Cast: Kristen Stewart. Robert Pattinson. Taylor Lautner. Bryce Dallas Howard. Xavier Samuel.
  • Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2.
    Cast: Robert Downey Jr. Gwyneth Paltrow. Scarlett Johansson. Don Cheadle. Mickey Rourke. Sam Rockwell.
  • Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3.
    Voice Cast: Tom Hanks. Tim Allen. Laurie Metcalf. Joan Cusack. Ned Beatty.
  • Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
    Cast: Mia Wasikowska. Johnny Depp. Anne Hathaway. Helena Bonham Carter.
  • Mike Mitchell's Shrek Forever After.
    Voice Cast: Antonio Banderas. Cameron Diaz. Mike Myers. Eddie Murphy. Julie Andrews. Jon Hamm.

Among these, Inception is the only non-sequel original story.

Besides Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the Inception cast also features:

Ken Watanabe. Tom Hardy. Tom Berenger. Michael Caine. Pete Postlethwaite. Cillian Murphy. Dileep Rao. Lukas Haas.

Selena Gomez Ramona and Beezus box office jumpSelena Gomez in 'Ramona and Beezus': Box office jump.

Selena Gomez 'Ramona and Beezus' leads Tuesday box office bump

On Tuesday, July 27, most movies among the top twelve posted attendance gains in relation to Monday.

The Selena Gomez star vehicle Ramona and Beezus had the biggest surge, an impressive up 21 percent, though nearly every other movie posted double-digit gains. The exceptions were:

  • The Angelina Jolie thriller Salt (up 6 percent).
  • The Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson-Taylor Lautner romantic fantasy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (up 7 percent).
  • The Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz humorous thriller Knight and Day (also up 7 percent).

Inception's daily box office earnings remained basically unchanged. Nimród Antal's horror thriller Predators was the only movie to go down (4 percent) on Tuesday.

Angelina Jolie 'Salt' to fall below $1,000-per-theater mark

July 29 update: Whereas Tuesday was mostly an “up” day for the top twelve movies at the North American box office, Wednesday, July 28, was all a “down” day.

Inception took in $5.52 million, down 9 percent from the day before. Total to date: $160.53 million. Although Inception may reach $200 million at the North American box office by Sunday night, chances are Nolan's movie will get there only on Monday.

At no. 2, the Angelina Jolie thriller Salt grossed $3.64 million (down 17 percent), or $1,009 per theater. One more attendance drop and the spy thriller will fall below the $1,000-per-theater-average mark.

Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star in Salt; Phillip Noyce directed. Salt will be crossing the $50 million mark sometime today. Total as of Wed.: $48.15 million.

'Despicable Me' ahead of 'Toy Story 3'

At no. 3, Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin's Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and others, collected $3.31 million.

Up one spot, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, was the no. 4 movie with $1.31 million.

Also up one spot was Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum's Ramona and Beezus, starring Selena Gomez and Joey King, with $1.2 million (down 11 percent) at no. 5.

Costly 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' to finally reach $50 million

Down two spots at no. 6, Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, scored $1.19 million (down 14 percent). The $150 million production will finally reach the $50 million mark sometime this coming weekend.

Next in line was David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, with $1.06 million (down 8 percent) at no. 7.

Eclipse may be able to remain above the $1 million-per-day mark on Thursday, but it will undoubtedly fall below it next week.

Adam Sandler's Grown Ups earned $971,000 at no. 8. Grown Ups should be crossing the $150 million mark sometime this weekend. Else, Monday at the latest. Total as of Wed.: $145.21 million.

Tom Cruise still around

Rounding out the top twelve were:

  • M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender with $516,000.
    Cast: Noah Ringer. Dev Patel. Jackson Rathbone. Nicola Peltz.
  • Nimród Antal's Predators with $370,000
    Cast: Topher Grace. Adrien Brody. Alice Braga. Laurence Fishburne.
  • Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right with $303,000
    Cast: Annette Bening. Julianne Moore. Mark Ruffalo. Mia Wasikowska. Josh Hutcherson.
  • James Mangold's Knight and Day with $197,000
    Cast: Tom Cruise. Cameron Diaz.
Angelina Jolie Salt movie solid debutAngelina Jolie 'Salt' movie has solid debut.

'Inception' tops second weekend in a row, Angelina Jolie 'Salt' has strong debut

Monday, July 26, '10: Inception was the no. 1 movie at the North American box office for the second weekend in a row – but earned about $750,000 less than studio estimates – as per actuals released at Box Office Mojo.

The $160 million Warner Bros. release collected $42.72 million, down 32 percent from last weekend.

In second place was the Angelina Jolie star vehicle Salt, which opened with a solid $36 million ($500,000 less than estimated), or $9,970 average at 3,612 venues.

At no. 3, Despicable Me pulled in $23.68 million (down 28 percent), while the no. 4 movie was the poorly received The Sorcerer's Apprentice with $9.65 million (down 45 percent).

Toy Story 3 was no. 5 with $8.91 million. At no. 6, Ramona and Beezus, earned only $7.81 million at 2,719 venues ($2,873 average).

Next in line was Grown Ups with $7.42 million, followed by the romantic fantasy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with $7.18 million at no. 8. Considering that Grown Ups has fared better on weekends, it's likely that it'll switch places with Eclipse throughout the week.

Rounding out the top twelve this weekend were The Last Airbender with $4.21 million, Predators with $3.12 million, The Kids Are All Right with $2.59 million, and Knight and Day with $1.69 million.

'The Kids Are All Right' posts highest average, only increase

Among the top twelve movies, the lesbian family comedy-drama The Kids Are All Right had once again the highest per-theater average, $12,909, followed by Inception with $11,267 and Salt with $9,970. Knight and Day had the lowest, $1,339.

Expectedly, after going from 38 to 201 theaters The Kids Are All Right posted the only attendance increase among the top twelve.

Grown Ups, down 25 percent after the loss of 215 locations, and Toy Story 3, down 26 percent after the loss of 411 theaters, posted the smallest drop-off rates. Predators, after losing 823 venues, posted the highest one, down a significant 56 percent.

 

Leonardo DiCaprio Inception image: Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.

Selena Gomez Ramona and Beezus image: Fox 2000 Pictures.

Angelina Jolie Salt image: Andrew Schwartz / Columbia Pictures.

July 24

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)

July 23

Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Inception
Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page in Christopher Nolan's sci-fier blockbuster Inception

According to figures found at Box Office Mojo, Christopher Nolan's Inception was the no. 1 movie at the North American box office on Thursday, July 22.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine, Nolan's sci-fi/thriller grossed $8.56 million (down 3.3 percent) on Day 7, thus lifting its cume a little bit above the $100 million milestone: $100.158,412, to be exact.

On Box Office Mojo's “fastest to $100m” chart (not adjusted for inflation or 3D/IMAX surcharges), Inception is no. 49, right behind Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and before Bruce Almighty.

On Thursday, Inception was down an acceptable 16 percent compared to Monday. It's somewhat unlikely (though certainly not impossible) that Nolan's latest will retain the no. 1 spot throughout the weekend, as Angelina Jolie's action-thriller Salt – this week's only major release – is expected to take in $35-$45 million.

Depending on the strength of Salt's popularity, Inception – even if it falls behind this weekend – could well return to the top spot at the U.S. and Canada box office early next week.

Photo: Inception (Melissa Moseley / Warner Bros.)

Nicolas Cage, Monica Bellucci, The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Nicolas Cage, Monica Bellucci, The Sorcerer's Apprentice

At no. 2, Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and others, took in $4.58 million.

It was followed by Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, with $1.89 million – about the same amount the Disney release earned on Wednesday.

Right on its heels was the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner romantic fantasy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which pulled in $1.88 million in fourth place.

At no. 5, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, brought in $1.81 million.

Expect The Sorcerer's Apprentice to drop behind both Eclipse and Toy Story 3 next week.

Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider's Grown Ups scored $1.36 million at no. 6.

At no. 7, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, and Nicola Peltz, collected $900,000.

Next in line was Nimród Antal's Predators, starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne, with $773,000.

Rounding out the top twelve were Tom Cruise's Knight and Day with $455,000, Jackie Chan's The Karate Kid with $323,000, Marisa Tomei's Cyrus with $125,000, Annette Bening's The Kids Are All Right with $122,000.

Among the top twelve movies, The Kids Are All Right had once again the highest per-theater average, $3,224, followed by Inception with $2,258. On its way out, The Karate Kid had the lowest, $211.

Attendance was a mixed bag on Thursday. Among the top twelve on the box office chart, six movies were down, one was basically unchanged (that's The Sorcerer's Apprentice), and five were up. None posted major – or even mid-level – attendance increases or decreases.

Toy Story 3 had the biggest Wednesday-to-Thursday increase, a none too impressive up 3.1 percent. Cyrus had the highest drop-off rate, a low down 6 percent.

Photo: The Last Airbender (Zade Rosenthal / Paramount); The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment); The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Jerry Bruckheimer/Disney Enterprises)

On July 21

Nicolas Cage, The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Jackson Rathbone, Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, The Last Airbender
Michael Caine, Leonardo DiCaprio in Christopher Nolan's Inception (top); Nicolas Cage in Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice (upper middle); Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson in David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (lower middle); Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender (bottom)

Despite being down nearly $1 million from the day before, Christopher Nolan's sci-fi/thriller Inception retained its position as the no. 1 movie at the North American box office on Wednesday, July 21, according to Box Office Mojo.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio,Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine, Inception earned $8.85 million. Its total currently stands at $91.59 million, which means Inception – in case there's another attendance drop today – may not be able to reach the $100 million milestone until tomorrow, its eighth day out.

At no. 2, Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and others, collected $4.48 million.

At no. 3, Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, was down 18.3 percent, bringing in $1.89 million – thus falling below the $2m-per-day mark on Day 8.

Another movie that fell below the $2m-per-day mark – but on Day 22 – was the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner romantic fantasy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which collected $1.83 million in fourth place.

And here's another: At no. 5, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, took in $1.76 million on Day 34.

Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider's Grown Ups pulled in $1.33 million at no. 6.

At no. 7, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, and Nicola Peltz, grossed $921k – below the $1m-per-day mark on Day 21.

Next in line was Nimród Antal's Predators, starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne, with $793,000.

Rounding out the top twelve were James Mangold's Knight and Day with $455,000, Harald Zwart's The Karate Kid with $314,000, Jonah Hill's Cyrus with $133,000, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right with $127,000.

Among the top twelve movies, The Kids Are All Right had the highest per-theater average, $3,367, followed by Inception's $2,336. The Karate Kid had the lowest, $205.

Business was down for every single movie on the top twelve chart. The Kids Are All Right had the smallest Tuesday-to-Wednesday decrease, down 3.9 percent. The Sorcerer's Apprentice had the steepest, down 18.3 percent.

Photo: Inception (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.); The Last Airbender (Zade Rosenthal / Paramount); The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment); The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Jerry Bruckheimer/Disney Enterprises)

July 21

Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Inception
Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Inception

Christopher Nolan's sci-fi/thriller Inception was once again the no. 1 movie at the U.S. and Canada box office on Tuesday, July 20, according to Box Office Mojo.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, and Michael Caine, Inception took in $9.76 million, far outpacing its competitors despite having fallen below the $10m-per-day mark for the first time since opening on Friday.

In fact, Inception was the only movie among the top twelve to have suffered a decrease in attendance in relation to Monday.

Even so, Inception should be crossing the $100 million milestone on Thursday – else, on Friday at the latest.

At no. 2, Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and others, collected $5.21 million.

At no. 3, Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, pulled in $2.31 million (+8.1 percent).

On Day 21, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse earned $2.08 million in fourth place.

Eclipse was followed by Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, with $2.06 million.

A relatively little attendance decrease/increase for The Sorcerer's Stone, Eclipse, and/or Toy Story 3, and their positions could easily be switched around on the chart.

Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider's Grown Ups scored $1.51 million at no. 6.

At no. 7, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, and Nicola Peltz, brought in $1.08 million.

Next in line was Nimród Antal's Predators, starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne, with $930k.

Rounding out the top twelve were Cameron Diaz's Knight and Day with $508,000, Jaden Smith's The Karate Kid with $359,000, John C. Reilly' Cyrus with $148,000, Mark Ruffalo's The Kids Are All Right with $133,000.

Among the top twelve movies, The Kids Are All Right had the highest per-theater average, $3,503, followed by Inception's $2,575.

The Karate Kid had the lowest average, $235.

Also among the top twelve, Cyrus posted the biggest Monday-to-Tuesday gains, up 17 percent, followed by Knight and Day with up 14.2 percent.

Inception was the only movie to post an attendance decrease on Tuesday, down 4.1 percent.

Photo: Inception (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.)

Previous post

Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception, Christopher Nolan
Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception

Christopher Nolan's sci-fi/thriller Inception remained the top movie at the North American box office on Monday, July 19, according to Box Office Mojo.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, and Michael Caine, Inception had a solid per-theater average of $2,686.

Inception should be crossing the $100 million milestone either on Thursday or Friday.

At no. 2, Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and others, took in $4.88 million.

The no. 3 movie was Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, with a not-at-all-good $2.14 million on Day 6. The per-theater average of this Jerry Bruckheimer/Disney release was a paltry $612.

On Day 20, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse grossed $2.03 million in fourth place. (For comparison's sake: on Day 20, Chris Weitz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon collected only $905k last fall.)

At no. 5, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, brought in $1.89 million.

Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider's widely panned comedy Grown Ups earned $1.42 million at no. 6.

At no. 7, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz, and Shaun Toub, pulled in $1.04 million. One more slide, and The Last Airbender will fall below the $1m-per-day mark.

Next in line was Nimród Antal's Predators, starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne, with $919k – below the $1m-per-day mark on Day 11.

Rounding out the top twelve were Tom Cruise's Knight and Day with $445,000, Jackie Chan's The Karate Kid with $324,000, Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass' Cyrus with $127,000, Julianne Moore's The Kids Are All Right with $117,000.

Among the top twelve movies, The Kids Are All Right had the highest per-theater average, $3,099 – though nothing like the $9,000+ it averaged last week.

Cyrus' per-theater average was down to $285, which probably means its expansion will not get much wider.

The Karate Kid had the lowest average, $212.

Also among the top twelve, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse had the smallest Sunday-to-Monday attendance drop, down 46.7 percent, followed by Inception with down 47 percent.

Surprisingly, considering that both are aimed at adults, The Kids Are All Right had the steepest drop-off rate, down 65.9 percent, followed by Cyrus with down 61.6 percent.

Photo: Inception (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.)

July 19, '10, update

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Inception
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Inception

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, and Michael Caine, Christopher Nolan's sci-fi/thriller Inception performed above expectations this past weekend according to box office actuals found at Box Office Mojo.

Thanks to a considerably lower than expected Sunday attendance drop, Inception grossed $2 million more than Warner Bros. estimated: $62.78 million (including Thursday midnight screenings), for a per-theater average of $16,557.

The earnings of the remaining top twelve movies were pretty close to studio estimates.

Last weekend's box office champion, Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, was the no. 2 movie with $32.8 million.

At no. 3, Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, took in $17.61 million.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse grossed $13.42 million at no. 4.

At no. 5, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, brought in $11.99 million.

Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider's comedy Grown Ups earned $9.9 million at no. 6.

At no. 7, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz, and Shaun Toub, scored $7.75 million.

Next in line was Nimród Antal's Predators, starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne, with $7.01 million.

Rounding out the top twelve were Tom Cruise's Knight and Day with $3.6 million, Jackie Chan's The Karate Kid with $2.28 million, Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass' Cyrus with $1.09 million, Julianne Moore's The Kids Are All Right with $1.06 million.

Among the top twelve movies, The Kids Are All Right had by far the highest per-theater average, $28,009. At only 38 locations Lisa Cholodenko's family comedy-drama earned nearly as much as the Duplass brothers' quirky comedy Cyrus at 440 sites.

Inception had the weekend's second best per-theater average, $16,557 at 3,792 sites. The Karate Kid had the lowest, $1,494.

Also among the top twelve, The Kids Are All Right had the most impressive surge, up 116.3 percent, after going from 7 to 38 theaters. Predators has the steepest drop-off rate, down 71.7 percent.

Photo: Inception (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.)

July 18 update

Nicolas Cage, Monica Bellucci, The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cillian Murphy, Inception (top); Nicolas Cage, Monica Bellucci in Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice (middle); Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner in David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (bottom)

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Nolan's sci-fi/thriller Inception topped the North American box office this weekend, grossing $60.4 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

The above figure includes about $3 million from Thursday midnight screenings. The weekend total was at the lower end of estimates – Saturday business barely picked up in relation to Friday – which had the $160 million production opening to $60m-$65 million.

Nolan's first release since the megablockbuster The Dark Night, Inception co-stars Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Berenger, Ken Watanabe, and Michael Caine.

Last weekend's box office champion, Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's Despicable Me, was the no. 2 movie, taking in a solid $32.7 million.

The fantasy adventure featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and others crossed the $100 million milestone on Saturday. Its total gross currently stands at an estimated $118.36 million. (Cost: $69m.)

At no. 3, Jon Turteltaub's poorly received The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, scored $17.37 million. Thanks to a Saturday attendance surge, the Jerry Bruckheimer/Disney release almost matched the studio's (modest) expectations for the film's first five days out ($25 million), taking in a total of $24.4 million.

For comparison's sake: another poorly received fantasy, the Dwayne Johnson vehicle Tooth Fairy (which opened on a Friday), debuted with $14 million last January. It went on to gross $60 million domestically.

Clearly, there's no way The Sorcerer's Apprentice will recover its $150 million price tag at the domestic box office. With some luck it'll reach half that amount – which means Disney will collect about $35 million in North America. (Studios get about 50-55 percent of a film's domestic box office gross.)

Down two spots from Thursday after losing 400 theaters (including nearly all IMAX venues), Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was down 57.1 percent, taking in an estimated $13.5 million. Total: $264.9 million. Cost: $68 million.

Directed by David Slade, Eclipse is one of those rare productions that have been long in the black solely as a result of its domestic box office receipts.

At no. 5, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, pulled in $11.74 million. Total: $362.7 million. Cost: $200 million.

Photo: Inception (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.); The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Disney Enterprises); The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Summit Entertainment)

The Kids Are All Right box office Mia Wasikowska Lisa Cholodenko Julianne Moore'The Kids Are All Right' box office: Great per-screen average. Pictured: Mia Wasikowska, Lisa Cholodenko and Julianne Moore.

Adam Sandler widely panned comedy doing well at domestic box office

The $80 million-budgeted Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups pulled in $10 million at no. 6. at the U.S. and Canada box office this weekend (July 16–18, '10), according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Total to date: $129.25 million. Also in the cast: David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider.

Internationally, Grown Ups brought in only $960,000 in eight territories this weekend. International total to date: $9.5 million.

At no. 7, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender collected $7.45 million. Total to date: $114.8 million. Cost: $150 million. Cast: Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz, and Shaun Toub.

'Predators' plummets

Next in line was Nimród Antal's Predators with $6.8 million – down an alarming 72.5 percent from last weekend. Total to date: $40 million. Cost: $40 million. Cast: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne.

Despite its relatively low price tag, there's no chance Predators will be able to recover its production costs (never mind marketing and distribution expenses) at the domestic box office, as the film would need to earn $70-$80 million.

'The Kids Are All Right': Excellent per-screen average

Rounding out the top twelve were:

  • Knight and Day with $3.7 million. Total to date: a not inconsiderable $69.2 million. Cost: An even less inconsiderable $117 million.
    Cast: Tom Cruise. Cameron Diaz.
  • The Karate Kid with $2.2 million. Total to date: $169.2 million. Cost: $40 million..
    Cast: Jaden Smith. Jackie Chan.
  • Cyrus with $1.07 million. Total to date: $5.06 million. Cost: $7 million..
    Cast: Jonah Hill. John C. Reilly. Marisa Tomei. Catherine Keener.
  • The Kids Are All Right with $1.02 million. Total to date: $1.77 million. Cost: $4 million..
    Cast: Annette Bening. Julianne Moore. Mark Ruffalo. Josh Hutcherson. Mia Wasikowska.

Among the top twelve movies, The Kids Are All Right had by far the highest per-theater average, $27,026. At only 38 theaters, Lisa Cholodenko's family comedy-drama earned nearly as much as Cyrus at 440 sites. (See also: Comparison: The Kids Are All Right vs. Brokeback Mountain.)

Inception had the weekend's second best per-theater average, $15,928 at 3,792 sites. The Karate Kid had the lowest, $1,436.

Also among the top twelve, The Kids Are All Right had the most impressive surge, up 108.8 percent, after going from 7 to 38 theaters.

Cyrus, which expanded from 200 to 446 theaters, was actually down 16 percent, which shows that Jay and Mark Duplass' quirky comedy does not seem all that appealing outside urban centers.

Predators suffered the steepest drop-off rate, down 73 percent. It was followed by The Karate Kid's 59 percent and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse's 57 percent.

 

Julianne Moore, Lisa Cholodenko, and Mia Wasikowska The Kids Are All Right image: Focus Features.

July 17 evening update:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception, Christopher Nolan
Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception

As expected, Christopher Nolan's sci-fi/thriller Inception topped the U.S. and Canada box office on Friday, July 16, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Berenger, Ken Watanabe, and Michael Caine, Inception grossed an estimated $21.64 million on Friday (including about $3 million from Thursday midnight screenings).

Weekend expectations for Nolan's film have been hovering around $60m-$65 million.

Former box office champion Despicable Me was the no. 2 movie, earning a solid $10.05 million. The fantasy adventure crossed the $100 million milestone some time today.

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, Despicable Me features the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, Miranda Cosgrove, and others.

At no. 3, the poorly received Jerry Bruckheimer/Disney release The Sorcerer's Apprentice took in $5.4 million. The film's total after three days is $12.4 million, which makes it unlikely Sorcerer will reach $25 million by late Sunday as some had predicted.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub, The Sorcerer's Apprentice stars Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, and Teresa Palmer.

Down two spots from Thursday after losing 400 theaters (including nearly all IMAX venues), Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, collected $4.5 million at no. 4.

At no. 5, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, scored $3.42 million.

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right

Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider's Grown Ups pulled in $3.1 million at no. 6.

At no. 7, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz, and Shaun Toub, brought in $2.21 million.

Next in line was Nimród Antal's Predators, starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne, with $2.15 million.

Rounding out the top twelve were Tom Cruise's Knight and Day with $1.12 million, Jackie Chan's The Karate Kid with $640,000, Marisa Tomei's Cyrus with $305k and Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right with $283,000.

Starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hutcherson, and Mia Wasikowska, Focus Features' The Kids Are All Right expanded from 7 to 38 locations on Friday. Its inclusion among the top twelve is quite remarkable.

In fact, among those The Kids Are All Right had the highest per-theater average, $7,447. It was followed by Inception with $5,708 at 3,792 sites. The Karate Kid had the lowest, $418.

Also among the top twelve, The Kids Are All Right had – as to be expected – the biggest Thursday-to-Friday surge, up 360.5 percent. Cyrus, which expanded to 446 theaters, followed suit with up 156.4 percent.

The Karate Kid, now at 1,532 locations, had the smallest increase, up 13.9 percent.

Photo: Inception(Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.)

July 17 early morning

Despicable Me, Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, Miranda Cosgrove, and others, was the no. 1 movie at the North American box office on Thursday, July 15. That may well have been its last time at the top, as Christopher Nolan's Inception opened today to solid business.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Berenger, Ken Watanabe, and Michael Caine, Inception grossed an estimated $18m-$20 million on Friday according to Deadline.com. That amount includes about $3 million from Thursday midnight screenings.

Weekend expectations for Nolan's generally well-received sci-fi/thriller have been hovering around $60m-$65 million.

On Thursday, Despicable Me topped the chart with $6.39 million according to Box Office Mojo.

It was followed by Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, back at no. 2 with $3.43 million on Thursday and $251.3 million total.

Down one spot at no. 3, the poorly received The Sorcerer's Apprentice earned $3.21 million – down a significant 17 percent from the day before. The Disney release fell below the $1,000-per-day average ($950 at 3,385 sites) on its second day out.

Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Jon Turteltaub, The Sorcerer's Apprentice stars Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, and Teresa Palmer.

With $2.51 million, the no. 4 movie was Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, which has crossed the $350 million milestone at the domestic box office. The animated 3D feature's total currently stands at $350.9 million.

At no. 5, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider's Grown Ups collected $1.86 million.

At no. 6, Nimród Antal's Predators, starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne, pulled in $1.67 million.

Next in line was M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz, and Shaun Toub, with $1.57 million.

The Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz spy caper Knight and Day earned $801k at no. 8, followed by the Jackie Chan-Jaden Smith vehicle The Karate Kid with $562,000.

Rounding out the top eleven were Bradley Cooper's The A-Team with $161k and Jonah Hill's Cyrus with $120,000.

Among the top eleven movies, Despicable Me had the highest per-theater average, $1,840 (below the $2,000 per-theater mark on its seventh day out). The A-Team had the lowest, $203.

Ten of the top eleven movies at the North American box office were down on Thursday. The one exception was The A-Team, which managed to gross nearly $1,000 more than on Wednesday (a microscopic up 0.6 percent). Cyrus had the worst drop-off rate, down 18.5 percent, followed by The Sorcerer's Apprentice's down 17 percent.

Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hutcherson, and Mia Wasikowska, grossed $61,000 at 7 locations.

Among the films listed on Box Office Mojo's Thursday chart, The Kids Are All Right once again had by far the highest per-theater average: $8,778.

Photo: Universal Pictures

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9 Comments to 'Inception' Meaning? Blockbuster

  1. dan cataldo

    Saw the movie first night, Great movie will see it again. Highly reccomend for the big screen. Director Christopher Nolan never disappoints.

  2. 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.

  3. hotnews

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

  4. 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! :)

  5. Christopher Jennings

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

  6. 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.

  7. utsab

    After beautiful mind and matrix triology… i watched a movie

  8. yessica

    Go to see Leo film,it's is GREAT!!! I really hope it will top the box office this weekend!!

  9. Wemberg

    I would like to thank the wonderful film “Inception”: Christopher Nolan, Tom Berenger,Ken Watanabe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy and the rest of the cast.

    Thanks