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Seven-Day Summary: 'Inception's Reign Continues

by Ray Subers

August 6, 2010

Further extending its run as one of summer's biggest hits, Inception easily topped three new movies to remain in first place for the third straight week. One of those new releases, Dinner for Schmucks, held its own, while Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Charlie St. Cloud were far behind. Holdover Salt had a typical drop, while Despicable Me crossed a major milestone. Overall business was up 17 percent from the same week last year, when Funny People disappointed with $32.6 million.

For the second week in a row, Inception dropped just 34 percent, this time to $43.3 million. On Tuesday, it passed the $200 million mark, then on Wednesday it overtook Batman Begins to become director Christopher Nolan's second highest-grossing movie ever behind The Dark Knight (it still has a few weeks before it passes Begins in attendance, though). Inception now ranks seventh on the 2010 yearly chart with a $209.1 million total.

Dinner for Schmucks closed out its opening week with $36.3 million. That's a higher gross than the opening weeks for Steve Carell's Date Night ($31.95 million) and The 40-Year-Old Virgin (though Virgin had slightly better initial attendance). It also marked Paul Rudd's best opening week ever as a leading man, exceeding Role Models or I Love You, Man.

Salt finished in third place, dipping 43 percent to $29.3 million. With $80.9 million in two weeks, it should have no problem becoming distributor Sony Pictures third $100 million movie of the summer, following The Karate Kid ($173.3 million) and Grown Ups ($153.3 million).

Despicable Me had another impressive week, declining a light 32 percent to $25.2 million. On Thursday, it inched past $200 million, becoming the eighth movie and fourth animated movie to reach that milestone. It's also distributor Universal Pictures' first $200 million movie since The Bourne Ultimatum from 2007.

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore's first week fell short of topping Despicable Me's fourth week. The talking animal sequel's $19.5 million opening was less than half of the 2001 original's $41.4 million seven-day opening (and even worse in terms of attendance).

After barely topping Cats & Dogs 2 for the weekend, Charlie St. Cloud fell behind it during the week and finished with $18.8 million. This was much less than Zac Efron's last two nationwide releases High School Musical 3: Senior Year ($46.7 million) and 17 Again ($28.3 million), though the former had a built-in audience and both had more broadly-appealing premises. Charlie also came in under the somewhat similarly-themed My Sister's Keeper's $20.7 million start last summer.

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