BOX OFFICE: ‘Inception’ Holds the Top Spot

There have only been a few movies this summer that have managed to hold on to the top spot for three weekends in a row and Inception can now be added to that list. With the 7 through 12 films this weekend it was an impeccably close race with the films in more theatres ending up winning the weekend. The Kids Are All Right actually dropped a spot to number 12 despite increasing its theatre count by over 70%. As far as the top ten, it’s much of the same.

Box Office Estimates
July 30 – August 1, 2010

1) Inception (3,545 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $27.52 million

Inception is still bringing in a very impressive per theatre average in its 3rd weekend, which indicates it might stay strong for a fourth weekend. The film has just about earned back its $200 million production and marketing budget with its domestic gross. It should easily surpass that mark this week.

2) Dinner for Schmucks (2,911 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $23.3 million

The Schmucks beat out Inception in terms of per theatre average, but because of the smaller theatre count the total was lower. Adult aimed comedies traditionally do not do that well at the summer box office, but the PG-13 rating widened the audience for this film. We’ll find out if it has any kind of legs to stand on throughout the week.

3) Salt (3,612 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $19.25 million

This film’s gross decreased by 46.5% which was the second largest of any film in the top ten this week. I’m predicting/hoping that this under-performance will prevent the sequel that the creators so badly want.

4) Despicable Me (3,602 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $15.54 million

This animated film is in about the same spot as Inception in terms of overall gross, except this film has been in theatres for one more week and had about 1/3 of the budget. I can’t imagine that this movie would not have a sequel with the way it has been performing and the easy transferability of its adorable yellow minion characters.

5) Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (3,705 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $12.53 million

I’m still surprised that this film was actually released in theatres and wasn’t a straight-to-DVD release. Apparently Warner Bros. knew what they were doing as the film finished off in the top five in its first weekend and earned more than $10 million.

6) Charlie St. Cloud (2,718 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $12.14 million

10 out of 10 teenage girls who saw Charlie St. Cloud this weekend recommend it and say that Zach Efron’s smile is dreamy. The film actually performed better than Kitty Galore in per theatre gross, but because it is in about 1,000 fewer theatres it lost in overall gross.

7) Toy Story 3 (2,105 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $5.04 million

Depending on how well Toy Story 3 does during the week, it should pass the $400 million domestic mark next weekend and become the first summer movie to do so. It is definitely going to be the film that people are talking about when revisiting the summer Box Office predictions.

8) Grown Ups (2,269 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $4.5 million

This movie has over $150 million in total gross? Yuck. Just when I thought that American movie-going audiences were getting smarter.

9) The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2,524 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $4.32 million

One summer film that we are almost guaranteed to avoid a sequel for is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It also had the most drastic drop of any movie in the top ten going from number 4 all the way down to 9 in one weekend. After next weekend we can finally send it on its way.

10) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2,334 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $3.97 million

The film got a pretty big theatrical decline, which brought its overall gross down significantly. It has definitely made the most money relative to its budget this summer, but it won’t be crowned this weekend’s champ.

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