Inception gets a $60-million reception

If you are a film buff, you’ll like this weekend’s results. Audiences gave “Inception,” an original high-concept sci-fi thriller, $60 million and Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a formulaic action fantasy film based on a scene from “Fantasia,” a paltry $17 million. Talk about sending the right messages to Hollywood. Thank you, America.

  1. Inception – $62.7 M (weekend) … $62.7
  2. Despicable Me – $32.8 M … $118.4 M (gross)
  3. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – $17.6 M … $17.6 M
  4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – $13.4 M … $264.7 M
  5. Toy Story 3 – $11.9 M … $362.9 M
  6. Grown Ups – $9.9 M … $129.1 M
  7. The Last Airbender – $7.7 M … $115.1 M
  8. Predators – $7 M … $40.3 M
  9. Knight and Day – $3.6 M … $69.1 M
  10. The Karate Kid – $2.2 M … $169.2 M

“Inception” earned the high end of the $50-60 million I anticipated, by all means a huge success considering the genre and with no built-in fan base (unless you count the big Chris Nolan fans out there).

With an estimated $150 million, Disney’s gonna be left cold after “Apprentice.” In fact, an episode of the Donald Trump reality show probably gets more viewers than this film got from Friday to Sunday. Whereas May’s effort “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” at least made a killing overseas, “Apprentice” is off to a slow start abroad as well, with just $8 million. The Mouse House will need an exceptionally strong performance from “Tron: Legacy” this winter to make up for the losses, so look for marketing to get crazy for that film starting next month.

Elsewhere in the Top 10, “Predators” sunk an unexpected 70 percent to the eight spot on the list. Horror films have notoriously poor second weekends, but considering the decent reviews and high visibility, 70 percent is a bit steep. Other second-week film, “Despicable Me,” fell just 40 percent and crossed the $100-million threshold quickly.

Despite the strong performance of “Inception,” the box office was actually down about 6 percent from last weekend, but be not deceived; numbers are up 12 percent from this time one year ago and that was the debut of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

1 Comment

  1. Michael Moramarco says:

    What? How did this past weekend net 12% more than last year’s HPHBP weekend?

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