Box office and audiences stay in limbo

For yet another week, no new films have along and made enough of a splash to beat out “Inception.” Steve Carell and Paul Rudd comedy “Dinner for Schmucks” earned just north of the $20 million comedy standard, but the sequel to “Cats & Dogs” tanked despite a wide release, finishing outside the top five.

The average-to-weak performances of these new films (including “Charlie St. Cloud”) kept most returners from falling very far. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” was the only top-ten film that fell more than 50 percent from last week, which makes sense because it was pulled from nearly 1,000 theaters.

  1. Inception – $27.4 M (weekend) … $193.3 (gross)
  2. Dinner for Schmucks – $23.5 M … $23.5 M
  3. Salt – $19.4 M … $71 M
  4. Despicable Me – $15.5 M … $190.3 M
  5. Charlie St. Cloud – $12.3 M … $12.3 M
  6. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – $12.2 M … $12.2 M
  7. Toy Story 3 – $5.1 M … $389.7 M
  8. Grown Ups – $4.5 M … $150.7 M
  9. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – $4.4 M … $52 M
  10. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – $4 M … $288.1 M

Not surprisingly, the box office was down 12.8 percent from last week, but compared to 2009, it is still doing about 20 percent better. Considering the number of successful films last August, it will be a real test to see whether the numbers can continue. Certainly the number of films with 3D as an option has played some factor in this.

Also on the positive end of things, indie dramedy “The Kids Are All Right” spread to more than 600 theaters this weekend and its total gross went up 35 percent from last week. The Oscar-buzz film should have enough momentum to break the top ten next week.


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