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`Inception' Is Top Weekend Film With $60.4 Million in Sales

Photographer: Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros. via Bloomberg

Leonardo DiCaprio in "Inception." Close

Leonardo DiCaprio in "Inception."

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Photographer: Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros. via Bloomberg

Leonardo DiCaprio in "Inception."

The science-fiction thriller “Inception” was the No. 1 movie at U.S. and Canadian theaters this weekend, taking in $62.8 million in ticket sales for Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros.

“Despicable Me,” from Universal Pictures, fell to second place with $32.8 million in its second weekend, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. Among other new films, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” was third with $17.6 million, Hollywood.com said.

“Inception,” director Christopher Nolan’s first film since “The Dark Knight” was released in 2008, is the third first-place opening for Time Warner this year. Sales were helped by critical praise, getting a favorable evaluation from 156 of 187 reviews compiled on the fan site Rottentomatoes.com.

“Warner Bros. mounted a strong campaign for this picture that enticed people,” said Brandon Gray, president of Box Office Mojo, a research company in Sherman Oaks, California. “It’s the type of movie that was never going to be a slam dunk, so all things considered, it had a very good weekend.”

The film stars Leonardo Di Caprio as a member of a special team that enters the dreams of others to steal secrets. He takes what he hopes will be one last job to earn enough money to reunite with his children. Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard co- star.

Moon Thief

“Despicable Me” is the story of an underworld creature who conspires to steal the moon. The animated film features the voices of Ken Jeong and Ranjani Brow.

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” stars Nicolas Cage as a sorcerer who recruits a younger aide to help him defend New York from a rival magician. The film, from Walt Disney Co., co-stars Alfred Molina.

The movie was “unable to get over the hump” of attracting viewers even as Disney mounted a “large” marketing campaign, Gray said.

“Just because you have ads in heavy rotation, doesn’t mean people will go see the movie,” Gray said. “What was presented in the marketing was very generic and this is not the type of picture that works for most people.”

“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” the vampire drama starring Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, was fourth with sales of $13.4 million. The film has brought in $264.8 million in ticket sales since its June 30 debut.

Daring Escape

“Toy Story 3” was fifth with $12 million for Disney’s Pixar studio. The sequel brings back Tom Hanks as the voice of Woody, who leads his toy companions in an escape from day care. The movie’s ticket sales have totaled $363 million since June 18, making it a record high for Pixar. “Finding Nemo,” released in 2003, held the previous mark for the U.S. and Canada with $339.7 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Weekend sales for the top 12 films rose to $171.4 million from $152.1 million a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Year-to- date receipts total $6.22 billion, up 4.1 percent from $5.97 billion. Attendance has fallen 2.3 percent this year.

The following table has figures provided by studios to Los Angeles-based Hollywood.com. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for July 16-18.

Rev. Avg./ Pct. Total Movie (mln) Theaters Theater Chg. (mln) Wks ================================================================ 1 INCEPTION 62.8 3,792 16,557 -- 62.8 1 2 DESPICABLE ME 32.8 3,501 9,370 -42 118.4 2 3 SORCERER’S APPRENT 17.6 3,504 5,028 -- 24.7 1 4 THE TWILIGHT SAGA 13.4 4,001 3,354 -58 264.8 3 5 TOY STORY 3 12.0 3,177 3,777 -43 363.0 5 6 GROWN UPS 9.9 3,074 3,224 -37 129.2 4 7 LAST AIRBENDER 7.8 2,805 2,765 -53 115.1 3 8 PREDATORS 7.0 2,669 2,629 -72 40.3 2 9 KNIGHT AND DAY 3.6 1,925 1,874 -53 69.1 4 10 THE KARATE KID 2.3 1,532 1,494 -57 169.3 6 11 CYRUS 1.1 446 2,451 -15 5.1 5 12 KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT 1.1 38 28,009 116 1.8 2

Top 12 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct.

(mln) (mln) Chg. ===================================

$171.4 $152.1 12.7

Year-to-date Revenue

2010 2009

YTD YTD Pct.

(mln) (mln) Chg. ===================================

$6,218 $5,970 4.1

Year-to-date Attendance: -2.3%



To contact the reporter on this story:
Michael White in Los Angeles at 
mwhite8@bloomberg.net.


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