Box Office Guru Wrapup: Inception Retains the Top Spot

Plus, Salt performs well, while Ramona and Beezus debuts at #6

This weekend, Warner Bros. enjoyed a sensational second weekend for its sci-fi thriller Inception which capitalized on amazing buzz to remain the most popular film in North America. Angelina Jolie's new action pic Salt had to settle for second place but the spy thriller still generated a healthy opening. Like last weekend, funny films had the best holds while everything else dropped harder.

Declining by a slim 31%, Inception topped the charts once again with an estimated $43.5M rocketing its ten-day tally to a stellar $143.7M. It was the second lowest drop witnessed all year for a wide release in its sophomore frame and put the Leonardo DiCaprio hit on track to break the $250M mark and possibly the $300M barrier as well. Playing in 3,792 theaters, including 197 IMAX sites, the mind-bending film averaged a muscular $11,473 which was tops among all wide releases.

Inception has an incredible road ahead of it. Word-of-mouth is amazing, repeat business is solid, competition over the coming weeks is not too fierce, and midweek sales have been enormous. It may even extend its streak to three weeks at number one. The hold was especially impressive given the arrival of another star-driven action thriller in Salt.

That Angelina Jolie starrer debuted well in the runner-up spot with an estimated $36.5M from 3,612 locations for a meaty $10,105 average. The Sony espionage thriller about a CIA agent on the run when suspected of being a Russian secret agent played to an adult audience and had cross-gender appeal. Studio research showed that 53% of the crowd was female and 59% was over 25. Reviews were mixed and moviegoers responded to the starpower of the lead and the promise of action and stunts. Unlike Inception, Salt featured very few special effects.

The media gave extensive coverage to the fact that Tom Cruise passed on doing the film and opted for another spy flick, Knight and Day, instead. But paying customers were more excited by Jolie as Salt grossed more in its first 3 days than Knight did in its first 9 days. Cruise's latest project is set to end its domestic run with less than $80M while Salt stands a great chance of breaking $100M.

Audience favorite Despicable Me held up remarkably well in its third frame sliding only 27% to an estimated $24.1M boosting the 17-day total to a stunning $161.7M. Universal's highest-grossing film in three years, the 3D toon is well on its way to reaching at least $225M and could go even higher as competition in the coming weeks is not too strong for its target audience.

Disney's big-budget misfire The Sorcerer's Apprentice fell to fourth place with an estimated $9.7M failing to break double-digit millions in its second weekend in theaters. With only $42.6M in 12 days, the effects-driven Nicolas Cage action title looks to reach $70-80M which would be only half of its production cost.

Giving the Mouse House better news was Toy Story 3 which still had good legs dipping only 25% to an estimated $9M in its sixth round. The 3D toon has banked $379.5M rising to number 12 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters behind the $380.3M of 2005's Star Wars Episode III. The $400M barrier will come crashing down in August.

Fox bowed its new girl pic Ramona and Beezus in sixth place with a quiet $8M, according to estimates. The G-rated film based on the popular children's books by author Beverly Cleary averaged a mild $2,942 from 2,719 theaters and played mostly to young girls and their moms. The low cost $15M production attracted an audience that was 69% family and 75% female. Reviews were generally upbeat.

Sony's Grown Ups followed in seventh with an estimated $7.6M, down 23%, pushing the total to $142.4M. Off 46% in its fourth weekend was The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with an estimated $7M boosting the cume to $279.7M. That puts the newest vampire pic at number 45 on the all-time list ahead of 2004's Meet the Fockers which grossed $279.2M.

Rounding out the top ten were action movies aimed at two different age groups of males. The PG-rated The Last Airbender grossed an estimated $4.2M, down 46%, for a $123.3M total. Paramount's franchise hopeful ranks as M. Night Shyamalan's third biggest hit ever trailing The Sixth Sense and Signs which still hold career highs for Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson, respectively, as actors. Fox's ultraviolent Predators fell 59% to an estimated $2.9M putting the sci-fi pic at $46.6M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $152.5M which was up 10% from last year when G-Force opened in the top spot with $31.7M; but down 11% from 2008 when The Dark Knight remained at number one with $75.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

Comments

Jonathan Edward O.

Jon Owens

Firsties!!!!!

Jul 25 - 05:40 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Why do people have to say first or firsties?! It adds nothing to the conversation!

Jul 25 - 06:56 PM

Jonathan Edward O.

Jon Owens

Your just mad cause you were not first.

Jul 25 - 11:13 PM

Not L.

Not Likely

Step 1 - Obtain sense of humor
Step 2 - ??
Step 3 - profit

Jul 26 - 01:26 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

Jason, I agree. And these attention-seeker/spammer/troller-types all seem to have the same stock answer when you call them out on it.

They're so juvenile they can't even how meaningless and lame it is to cry out "First!" Instead of saying something of substance, they act like little children.

Well, I guess they succeed when they get attention, even if it's for all the wrong reasons.

Jul 26 - 08:19 AM

CFM

'schak Attack

Fifth-ties!

Jul 26 - 08:48 AM

Jonathan Edward O.

Jon Owens

I was Just trying to be funny... the best medicine is always laughter.

Jul 26 - 11:56 AM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

Well, you failed at being funny. It's really just pathetic. Millions of people also try to be "funny" by doing the same thing.

Again, it signifies nothing, not even humor. It's just annoying.

Jul 26 - 07:29 PM

Jake

Jake Armistead

You can suck my balls and then you can be the first man to do that.

Jul 26 - 03:34 PM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

At least a good movie will top the 400 mil mark this year unlike last year (Trashformers 2).

Jul 25 - 05:45 PM

Tristan

tristan Wheeler

or Trannies too

Jul 25 - 08:25 PM

K

KateBeckinsaleLover Clarke

Atta be Inception, way to still pull in another strong first place finish. Congrats to Salt for posting a rather solid debut in second place. And keep it up Despicable Me, the numbers that you're posting in third place are very good too.

Jul 25 - 05:45 PM

Anne D.

Anne D

Yay for Inception! I hope it stays #1 next week too, that would be so awesome :D

Jul 26 - 02:52 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

SA wasn't that bad actually. It was a pretty decent action/fantasy...it's kinda sad to see it do so badly when Salt did so good. Man, that movie sucked ballz.

Jul 25 - 05:56 PM

Seth D.

Seth Daniels

Completely agree. No idea why the whole world, critics and public alike, are down on SA. Was pretty well-acted, had a decent script, solid effects. It's not the kind of movie that only comes along once a year, but a solid summer offering.

Jul 25 - 07:30 PM

Lena w.

Lena williams

Did not enjoy Inception I was disappointed, for a summer movie when I wanted to be really entertained it was too much plot. Boring, I think its going to drop off. My son saw Salt and was surprised by Jolie's performance because he said she is a woman.

Jul 25 - 06:10 PM

frankdozier

William Luc-Ferris

Too much plot. I wanted to be really entertained. Surprised by Jolie because she is a woman.

There is so much wrong with everything you've said that it makes me want to move away from Earth.

Jul 25 - 06:25 PM

Easter In The Batcave

Alex Sallas

LMFAO

Jul 25 - 06:32 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

You're joking, right?

Lena?

OH MY GOD!!

Jul 25 - 06:57 PM

Cory

Cory B

When I tried to read this post out loud my hair lit on fire. Just... quit now while you're only REALLY far behind.

Jul 25 - 06:59 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Lena W.: Wow, the ignorance within your comment astounds me! I hope the comments about Jolie truly came from your son. And you thought Inception had too much plot? I can understand someone not liking the film, but that description does more to say that it was just over your head.

Jul 25 - 07:05 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Not to attack you here, but if you honest to God think Inception is just going to drop massively out of nowhere after a great second weekend, you are delusional. The only real competition it has from action movies is The Expendables, which does not come out til around mid August or so. It is going to contiune to make bank.

Jul 25 - 07:24 PM

Hemal B.

Hemal Bhawani

I don't know about you, but The Expendables just seems like another A-Team ripoff(the trailers suggest as much) but with a lot of action stars. Sure, people may love it but I'm not that interested.

Personally(and I know I might be alone here) I'm looking forward to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Yes, it probably has less appeal than Expendables, But I'm a fan of Edgar Wright's films and the trailers look cool, so yeah.

Jul 25 - 10:04 PM

Phillip N.

Phillip Nguyen

video games + flaming katana+ michael cera= kick ass movie

Jul 25 - 10:53 PM

rocknblues81

Brian Hurley

I see your idiotic genes has been passed down to your son.

Jul 25 - 07:51 PM

JS

j s

hilarious

Jul 25 - 08:07 PM

EdP-Review

edgar perez

congrats, you now have the best comment this week. I can't wait to see what you write about transformers 3. I bet it's already on your ballot for best picture at the oscars, huh?

Jul 25 - 09:18 PM

Brian B.

Brian Barreto

No offense, but your ignorant. What, did you expect Inception to be a brainless action blockbuster? I'm glad you didn't like it, since you clearly were expecting to see an entirely diferrent film. Also, why is it a surprise to your son for Jolie having to give out a good and commanding performance? He said because she's a woman? You both need to check yourself because a lot of actresses are great like Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Helen Mirren, Penelope Cruz, Meryl Streep, Marion Cotillard, Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Aniston, etc.

And Inception is a cerebral action/sci-fi noir film with elements of a heist film, drama, espionage, etc. Inception incorporated so much of a lot of genres so seamessly, and that is one of the many reasons its a masterpiece, that's been nearly uniersally loved. It did everything right, and dare I say it, nothing wrong. So please provide more points to your criticism of a great film next time because if you don't, we the "real" audience with something real to say will shoot down your ignorant comments. Why don't you and your son go and watch Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore on Friday? I'm sure you won't be "bored" with that film because it looks like a sure-fire classic.

Jul 25 - 09:33 PM

DoctorXeno

Jonathan Nono

Your post shows your obvious insecurity. If you truly believed it was a masterpiece, you wouldn't right a pointless comment bashing someone's opinion.

I wrote this comment because your comments are all over the place.

Jul 27 - 01:01 PM

JS

j s

Yo Doc, the post doesn't mean jack. Insecurity? Gimme a break.

Jul 28 - 03:26 PM

Brian B.

Brian Barreto

Sure, I bashed her opinion. I'm not going to deny it. But the reason I did it is because I thought the simple remark of " for a summer movie when I wanted to be really entertained it was too much plot. Boring" was pointless in itself because she didn't give out anymore reasons as to why she thought it was boring and a dissapointing. I said I was glad she didn't like it because she was clearly expecting to see another film because if you are going to see Inception, you obviously must know that it will focus on its plot and concept. My comment may have been "pointless", but I said it because I thought I needed too-to weigh in my opinion on what she wrote. I thought Inception was a masterpiece because it immersed into its world. It made me unsure if Cobb was dreaming or not. It dazzled me with its visuals. While the secondary characters weren't developed enough, I still cared for them. The action scenes, while influenced from other films, were great. Especially Gordon-Levitt's zero-gravity fights which were simply unforgettable. The acting was flawless on everyone's part, most notably from Leonardo DiCarpio and Marion Cotillard. Hans Zimmer's score was fanstastic, especially the one played during the ending. Now that-that-was amazing. The ending is probably the most dicussed ending of a film in years, whether someone loved or hated the film. Etc. I have no problem with Lena not liking the film, I just think she should actually tell us the real reasons why she didn't, that's all.

Jul 28 - 10:19 AM

Gary C.

Gary Cecil

I think putting such a detailed reason for not liking a movie should be left to the actual review. These comments don't need that.

Jun 17 - 06:37 PM

BLaCKWoLF

BLaCKWoLF .

@ Lena - You make Sarah Palin look like a genius. There is really nothing else one can say to describe your absolute stupidity. We wont even talk about your son.

Jul 25 - 10:04 PM

Swampfox

Pat Marion

Does anybody know what a Troll is ? OMG people. DONT FEED IT.

Jul 26 - 11:40 AM

JC Martel

JC Martel

Yeah, too much plot = Boring ! Bring on 90 minutes of CGI cartoons fighting each other and exploding, now that's Entertaining !

Seriously I'm pumped to see Inception's stamina. It made a solid 8-9 Million every day this week and kept the #1 position this weekend.

Jul 25 - 06:17 PM

Phillip N.

Phillip Nguyen

no no no, more like 150 minutes of clumps of metals smashing in different ways

Jul 25 - 10:54 PM

JC Martel

JC Martel

150 minutes for the entire movie, but a nice 90 minute scene of uninterrupted clumps of CGI cartoon metal smashing each other loudly. There's nothing more exiting !

Jul 26 - 03:52 PM

frankdozier

William Luc-Ferris

Too much plot. I wanted to be really entertained. Surprised by Jolie because she is a woman.

There is so much wrong with everything you've said that it makes me want to move away from Earth.

Jul 25 - 06:25 PM

August M.

Agustin Macias

Come on Toy Story, make it to 400 million.

Jul 25 - 06:29 PM

Easter In The Batcave

Alex Sallas

LMFAO

Jul 25 - 06:32 PM

Daniel P.

Daniel Petersen

Go Toy Story 3 go! woohoo!

Jul 25 - 06:44 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Why do people have to say first or firsties?! It adds nothing to the conversation!

Jul 25 - 06:56 PM

Jonathan Edward O.

Jon Owens

Your just mad cause you were not first.

Jul 25 - 11:13 PM

Not L.

Not Likely

Step 1 - Obtain sense of humor
Step 2 - ??
Step 3 - profit

Jul 26 - 01:26 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

Jason, I agree. And these attention-seeker/spammer/troller-types all seem to have the same stock answer when you call them out on it.

They're so juvenile they can't even how meaningless and lame it is to cry out "First!" Instead of saying something of substance, they act like little children.

Well, I guess they succeed when they get attention, even if it's for all the wrong reasons.

Jul 26 - 08:19 AM

CFM

'schak Attack

Fifth-ties!

Jul 26 - 08:48 AM

Jonathan Edward O.

Jon Owens

I was Just trying to be funny... the best medicine is always laughter.

Jul 26 - 11:56 AM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

Well, you failed at being funny. It's really just pathetic. Millions of people also try to be "funny" by doing the same thing.

Again, it signifies nothing, not even humor. It's just annoying.

Jul 26 - 07:29 PM

Orange Crush

amy nielsen

Hmmmm how's hot tub time machine doing? O wait....

Jul 25 - 06:56 PM

Cory

Cory B

I am officially retracting my prediction from last week that Cats and Dogs 2 will beat Inception next weekend. Inception will probably end up in the neighborhood of $25-28 million next weekend, and with Despicable Me and Toy Story 3 still doing good business Cats and Dogs 2 will not hit those numbers. No way.

Glad Toy Story 3 is on track to top $400 million, glad Despicable Me is doing really well, glad Inception is such a hit.

As for Salt, there was an article I read that was titled, "5 reasons why Salt will be bigger than Inception". OOPS!! But seriously, I'm passing on it. It just didn't look all that interesting to me. I'll just keep watching the trailers of cool upcoming movies, like The Expendables, Tron Legacy and Harry Potter.

Jul 25 - 06:56 PM

Brian B.

Brian Barreto

Salt was a decent action/thriller. The plot was decent, even though it was predictable. And I liked the cast, especially Angelina Jolie, who gave a great performance like always. Salt wasn't of Bond, Hunt, or Bourne quality, but it was a nice diversion until we get The Expendable in August. Oh, and it was definitely better than Knight & Day. I'm sorry, but I was dissapointed with it. Tom Cruise should've pick something better as his "comeback film".

Anyways, I am very happy that the masterpiece of Inception is still at #1, and I know that it will beat the unbearable-looking Cats & Dogs 2: TROKG. I mean...who the fuck even wants to see this drivel?

Jul 25 - 09:42 PM

EllenPageIsMyArchitect.

Joshua Medicoff

I completely agree with you. BUT. Because of the costs of 3D prices and the fact that it will appeal to little children, I sadly think it will do mildly well next week. )::

Jul 26 - 09:19 AM

Brian B.

Brian Barreto

I know it can have decent opening, and I believe that it will, but I don't think it will pass Inception. I hope it doesn't. In my opinion, drivel like that shouldn't even be made. I saw the trailer when I went to the theaters. I honestly say that this may be the worst CGI I have seen in a while. And last but not least, kids should be smart to know that if they want to see a good movie, they could watch Despicable Me or Toy Story 3 not this crap.

Jul 26 - 12:27 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

Dude i read that same article. Besides the site is full of idiots, they also said Sherlock Holmes would do more than Avatar. Anyone notice that all of the movies that everyone says will bomb end up doing fantastic

Jul 26 - 04:54 AM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

You're joking, right?

Lena?

OH MY GOD!!

Jul 25 - 06:57 PM

Cory

Cory B

When I tried to read this post out loud my hair lit on fire. Just... quit now while you're only REALLY far behind.

Jul 25 - 06:59 PM

Captain of Team Cutler

ron kruzel

SA was not a bad movie at all. There is one scene, the tesla coil scene, which was a lighthearted moment but was a very cool scene.

Jul 25 - 07:04 PM

JS

j s

Ya, that was a good a scene.

Jul 25 - 08:10 PM

Captain of Team Cutler

ron kruzel

I liked that they were able to make music out of the coils.

Jul 25 - 08:13 PM

JS

j s

I really dug the car chase sequence to be honest. Cool how they transmuted the cars and how they got in and out of the mirror dimension. Well directed sequence.

Jul 25 - 08:19 PM

Captain of Team Cutler

ron kruzel

I dont understand the hatred for it. It was a perfect summer movie

Jul 25 - 08:31 PM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

For what it's worth, my sister and her kids really liked it. I'm interested in seeing it, but it's a DVD wait for me.

Jul 27 - 03:29 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Lena W.: Wow, the ignorance within your comment astounds me! I hope the comments about Jolie truly came from your son. And you thought Inception had too much plot? I can understand someone not liking the film, but that description does more to say that it was just over your head.

Jul 25 - 07:05 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Inception is gonna kick some behind next week.

Jul 25 - 07:11 PM

Jaxx Raxor

Adam Jones

Great numbers for the weekend. I knew Inception would stay at number one. I didn't know it would stay that well. Surprisingly good numbers for Salt, as I thought it would under perform like Knight and Day. I really hope they make more action movies with a woman as the lead. It just so much more interesting, to many male action heroes (which makes me think about the Expendables....)

Despicable Me is going to benefit a lot from the fact that aren't any other 3D CGI movies coming out in the near future. Its not going to do as well as Toy Story 3 but its looking to do at least 200 million.

Ramon and Beezus $8 million is weak, but that movie only had a budget of 15 million and probably little marketing, so it will definitely break even at least. Probably will make 20-30 million by the time it's run in theaters is over.

I will say that Inception does have a good chance of staying number one for next weekend. The new Cat and Dogs movie will win if it makes more than 25 million because I bet Inception drops between 40%-50% in the third weekend.

Jul 25 - 07:19 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Hope Toy Story 3 manages to break 400 mil. Inception was crazy bad awesome, and I'm happy to see it holding up great after the opening weekend; shows that audiences do not mind a well told story that is complicated if done right.

Jul 25 - 07:22 PM

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