Inception a Box Office Dream in 3rd Weekend
Riding upon a massive wave of public interest and critical acclaim, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller ‘Inception’ has once again topped the U.S. box office for a third consecutive week.
Despite competition from three new releases, ‘Inception’ declined a mere 36% to $27.5 million over the weekend, the smallest such drop on record for 2010.
By contrast, new arrivals such as comedian Steve Carell’s ‘Dinner with Schmucks’, family adventure ‘Cats and Dogs 2’, and Zac Efron’s new romantic drama ‘Charlie St. Cloud’ all underwhelmed in their debuts.
At $23.5 million, ‘Schmucks’ was the second highest-grossing movie of the weekend, grossing a similar amount to Carell’s previous comedy ‘Date Night’.
‘Charlie St. Cloud’ and ‘Cats & Dogs 2’ were less fortunate however, flopping at $12.4 million in fifth place and $12.3 million in sixth place respectively.
Hotly anticipated for months before its release, ‘Inception’s multi-layered, evocative storyline has been a key factor in its warm reception.
Set against a dark vision of the near-future, ‘Inception’ stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Dom Cobb, a corporate thief who specialises in the dangerous art of extraction: physically entering a person’s dream and stealing their ideas during their sleep. As a result, Cobb’s activities have made him one of the world’s most wanted criminals, costing him his life and family in the process.
However, when a mysterious businessman offers Cobb a final job in return for his redemption, he is forced to undertake an impossible task – planting an idea in a target’s head instead of stealing one. With his team of partners, Cobb begins a powerful and surreal journey into the depths of the human mind, one that will bring them ever closer to the most difficult task of all: inception.
Despite its complex premise, ‘Inception’ is quickly shaping up to become the most successful live-action film of the year.
With a debut of $62 million in its first week, it achieved the second-highest opening gross in history for an original sci-fi film, bested only by James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ in 2009.
Even more incredibly, according to film site Box Office Mojo, the film’s second and third week declines of 32% ($42.6 million) and 36% (27.5 million) represent the best hold in the genre since the release of ‘The Matrix’ in 1999.
Currently, ‘Inception’s worldwide gross stands at over $360 million after only three weeks in U.S. theatres and having yet to open in most overseas markets.
In addition to its box office appeal, ‘Inception’ has also received phenomenal critical acclaim from both audiences and professional reviewers.
Many top critics have already called for a Best Picture and Best Director Oscar for the film, with Chicago Sun-Times reviewer Richard Roeper calling it ‘An intoxicating adventure of the mind…one of the best films of this century.’
Rotten Tomatoes, the web’s largest movie review site, has given the film a positive rating of 87% based on reviews from over 248 critics, the highest figure for a live-action mass market release in 2010.
Similarly, the site’s user section featured an even higher score of 93% from over 83,000 comments, which was also the year’s highest for a major live-action film.
As for the week’s other films, Angelina Jolie’s spy caper ‘Salt’ fell a standard 46% in its second week, grossing $19.5 million for a third place finish.
An early success, Jolie’s latest star vehicle has already grossed over $100 million from the U.S. and a limited number of international territories.
Animated children’s flick ‘Despicable Me’, featuring the voice of Steve Carell as bumbling super villain Gru, also held well in its fourth week, grossing $15.5 million in fourth place.
A surprise hit, the picture has collected over $190 million in the U.S. since its debut on July 8th, and looks to further its total when it opens in major international markets in coming weeks.
Top Box Office Hits
- Inception - $27.5 million
- Dinner With Schmucks - $23.5 million
- Salt - $19.5 million
- Despicable Me - $15.5 million
- Charlie St. Cloud - $12.4 million
- Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore - $12.3 million
- Toy Story 3 - $5.1 million
- Grown Ups - $4.5 million
- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice - $4.5 million
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - $4 million
Inception is currently playing in Hong Kong, and has a tentative release date of September 21st in mainland China.