Inception opened to a massive $13.6 million in China, pushing its weekend total up 45 percent to $24.4 million (though it was down 37 percent in holdover markets). This was the fourth-biggest opening ever for an American movie in China behind Avatar and the two Transformers movies. With a $418.9 million overseas total and an imminent opening in Italy, Inception is now certain to eclipse the $500 million mark. Worldwide (domestic plus foreign), the Christopher Nolan sci-fi thriller's total rose to $698 million in just under two months in theaters.
The Expendables finished in second place with over $10 million. This included $1.4 million in France, $1.3 million in Germany and $1 million in the United Kingdom. Overall, The Expendables has grossed around $110 million overseas, though a specific figure is not currently available.
After nearly taking first place last weekend, The Last Airbender tumbled a steep 54 percent to $9.4 million from 42 territories. It's only new opening was in Poland, where it earned $441,451. To date the M. Night Shyamalan-directed fantasy has earned $139.6 million overseas.
With its only openings occurring in a few Scandanavian countries and in South Africa, Salt fell 44 percent to $8.65 million. The Angelina Jolie actioner has thus far tallied a respectable $146.7 million overseas.
The Karate Kid declined 35 percent to $8.3 million. Its biggest opening came in Italy, where it launched in third place with just over $1 million. The remake has earned $157.8 million overseas for a worldwide total of $334.1 million.
Toy Story 3 added $7.4 million this weekend to bring its foreign total to an outstanding $622.2 million. In the process, it passed Alice in Wonderland to become the highest-grossing worldwide title from 2010 and the fifth biggest-grossing movie ever worldwide with $1.031 billion. It's also within reach of fourth-place Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1.066 billion).
The Sorcerer's Apprentice opened in first place in Spain ($2.3 million), which led to a $7.4 million weekend. Including Monday grosses, Apprentice's international total climbed to $115 million.
Step Up 3-D added an estimated $7.1 million over the weekend to bring its foreign total to $82.6 million through its fifth weekend.
Shrek Forever After earned $5.6 million to bring its total to $481.9 million. It passed Shrek 2's $478.6 million overseas total to become the highest-grossing entry in the series.
Most media outlets had Avatar passing $2 billion overseas last weekend, which was its first with the Special Edition release. In actuality, they made the mistake of double-counting Puerto Rico's $5.9 million, which was already counted in the movie's domestic total (per the industry norm). In reality, Avatar hit the $2 billion foreign mark on Friday. Through Sunday, Avatar has collected just under $2.003 billion overseas for a worldwide total of $2.761 billion.
Domestic Weekend Report:
• Weekend Report: 'The American' Out-Draws The Mexican
Last Weekend's Around-the-World Roundup:
• 'Expendables,' 'Last Airbender' Hold Steady
• All-Time Worldwide