Inception on top for third straight week!

072226H1.jpgWarner Bros. “Inception” is number one for the third straight week, while Paramount’s “Dinner for Schmucks” fills a comedy void in the marketplace with a number two debut.

Warner Bros. “Inception” has been the number one film for each day since its release except for Friday (when “Schmucks” first day was at number one) and even in its third weekend of release presented a formidable road block to the newcomers. With $27.52 million the word-of-mouth favorite took the top of the chart with another small 36% drop.

The film has earned $193.3 million in just seventeen days of release and will soon cross the $200 million mark in domestic revenue.  Last weekend’s tiny 32% drop and great continued mid-week strength gave “Inception” strong momentum for this incredible third weekend.  A great film with a huge fan base and even pop-culture references of its own, director Christopher Nolan has captured the imagination of the world and has the numbers to back it up.  Another great hold for IMAX on “Inception”: $3.4 mil (or 12+% of the weekend’s box office), which is down only -29% and brings IMAX domestic cume after 17 days to $22 mil.

The comedy pairing of Steve Carell and Paul Rudd in Paramount’s “Dinner for Schmucks” took the second spot at the box office this weekend with $23.3 million.  These two also appeared in 2004’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” which opened with a $28.4 million.  Carell’s average wide release opening gross is around $27 million while Rudd’s is $20 million and so a comedy debut in the low-twenties was not a surprise.  The film is directed by Jay Roach who helmed the “Austin Powers” films and the “Meet the Parent.”.

At number three, Sony’s “Salt” has also been generating terrific mid-week grosses and enjoying solid word-of-mouth and critical reviews since its debut last weekend and therefore posted a strong sophomore session of $19.25 million that put it right in the thick of the box office action and gives it a cumulative total to date of $70.8 million.  A small second weekend drop of just 47% proves that  “Salt” is a perfect summer popcorn movie that delivers the goods while Angelina Jolie holds it all together with a terrific performance. 

Universal’s “Despicable Me” has also showed no signs of slowing down and is still a cornerstone of the top five even after 24 days in release with another $15.5 million against a mere 34% drop and a whopping $190.3 million in domestic box office.

For kids and families the 3-D sequel “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” from Warner Bros. came in at number five with $12.5 million.  The original “Cat & Dogs” back in 2001 debuted on the Fourth-of-July with a $21.7 million first weekend, but pretty stiff competition out there for the family audience gave the film a fifth place debut.

On the dramatic side of things with a debut outside of the top five with $12.1 million is Zac Efron and Kim Basinger in the May-December romance “Charlie St. Cloud.”  Director Burr Steers also directed Efron in 2009’s “17 Again,” which opened at number one with $23.7 million in April of that year. 

Another up weekend (that’s five in a row!) gives us a nice money-making vibe as we head into the final month of the summer movie season.