Box Office: Nolan’s Inception Dreams Up $60 Million Weekend

Warner Bros. can dream a little easier tonight: Christopher Nolan’s very expensive dabble in dream moviemaking has earned them the top spot at the box office with a $60 million take over the weekend, according to studio estimates. Coming in second was the CG movie “Despicable Me” with $32.7 million. The Steve Carell-voiced PG-rated family comedy continues to perform well, having raised $118 million in two weeks of release. Not faring quite as well was Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, which debuted in third place with a weak $17 million over the weekend, and $24.4 million since it opened earlier in the week on Wednesday.

Buoyed by strong critical reviews and fan reaction, Nolan’s “Inception” made what most experts expected it to make. The film’s $60 million opening means it didn’t disappoint, but at the same time didn’t exceed expectations. It’s second week will determine if the film has legs, which at this point will depend entirely on word of mouth — will those who have seen the film go back home and tell their friends and family that they must see the movie, too? The film is also complex enough as to generate repeat viewings. While I had no problems understanding the movie, or following its many “dream layers”, the film is two and a half hours long, and crams in plenty of major plot points that requires an audience member to sit through all two and a half hours lest they miss a vital plot introduction.

If Nolan’s “Inception” came in around industry expectations, Nicolas Cage’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” did the exact opposite. This is the second Jerry Bruckehimer/Disney film that has failed to live up to expectations, though if it’s anything like the duo’s “Prince of Persia”, the movie’s overseas box office will save the day. Despite struggling mightily just to reach $89 million in the states, “Persia” has gone on to make $325 million worldwide, with $236 million of that coming from foreign grosses. For those hoping for a sequel, you might just get your wish…


After opening with decent numbers last week, Robert Rodriguez’s “Predators” has tumbled to eighth place in its second week. The sci-fi action movie seems to have gotten all the genre moviegoing audience it’s going to get, adding another $6.8 million to its coffers for a two-week total of $40 million, which also happens to be its estimated budget. At this rate of decline, the film will be out of the Top 10 entirely by next week. Look for it to make its bones on DVD and foreign box office, the latter having added $17 million to the film so far.

1 —–Inception —–$60,400,000 —–$60,400,000
2 —–Despicable Me —–$32,734,000 —– $118,365,000
3 —–The Sorcerer’s Apprentice —–$17,373,000 —– $24,461,000
4 —–The Twilight Saga: Eclipse —– $13,500,000 —–$264,900,000
5 —–Toy Story 3 —–$11,742,000 —– $362,709,000
6 —–Grown Ups —–$10,000,000 —–$129,254,000
7 —–The Last Airbender —– $7,450,000—– $114,833,000
8 —–Predators —–$6,800,000 —–$40,084,000
9 —–Knight & Day —–$3,700,000 —– $69,209,000
10 —–The Karate Kid —–$2,200,000 —–$169,202,000

'Awesome! Thanks, foreign box office! Now we can live without covering our faces in shame!'