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Box Office Update 7/16-7/18: Inception Warps Perception

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Despicable Me dominated last week and continues to do well through its second weekend, but it was a foregone conclusion that it was going to fall out of the top spot. The movie that took over is the incredible Inception. The latest from writer/director Christopher Nolan jumped right to the top of the pile on a combination hot anticipation, curiosity and his prior monstrous success of The Dark Knight in 2008. This new film is based on an original idea and proves that you don’t have to be part of a franchise or a remake in order to open well at the box office.

I have seen Inception twice and it only improved the second time through. The film is deceptively straight forward, has a good deal of intelligence and is a fine example of a well crafted film that engages the viewer intellectually and viscerally. Beyond that, it has a fantastic cast that includes Leonardo Dicaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, and Cillian Murphy. This is the sort of film that we need to support in the hopes that studios get the idea and back more original fare. Yes, I know this will never happen.

Despicable Me  fell to second with a strong $32 million. It is not a perfect film but it is entertaining, it has big laughs and a few touching moments and you will leave happy. Just don’t expect any long term memories aside from the Minions.

Coming in third a disappointingly distant third place is Disney’s latest feature is a decent piece of entertainment. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a boy meets wizard tale of a young guy who finds himself saddled with the task of saving the world. Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel battle Alfred Molina in this magical fantasy. I enjoyed it enough. I like Baruchel and Cage made the rawhide trench coat work. However, considering its opening weekend, I do not see this lasting all that long.

Beginning its disappearance from cinemas is the fourth place Eclipse (that is the title card of the film, there is no Twilight Saga  tag on it). It seems that most, if not all, of those interested have seen it and it can begin its march into oblivion until it is unleashed on home video.

Toy Story 3 finishes in fifth place as it continues its push for $400 million. It currently sits at $363 million. The movie has proven very popular and I think it could make it to the mark, although it will have to maintain like the way it has been. I haven’t done the math but I think it could make it. Well, even if it doesn’t it takes nothing away from the quality entertainment Pixar has provided here.

The only thing of note in the bottom half of the list is Predators and its precipitous drop in its second weekend. I have no idea why it dropped 71%. Has word of mouth really been that bad? I have a hard time believing that. Maybe it’s because I like the movie, it is a fun summer action film that helps bring a modicum of respectability back to the Predator franchise.

Next weekend will see two new films enter the fray. First is a family film called Ramona and Beezus starring Joey King and Selena Gomez that tells the story of a a little sister, beyond that I know nothing. On the other side of the coin is the Angelina Jolie actioner Salt, where we will find out who Salt is and why she must be stopped.
Two movies dropped off the list this week: Cyrus (11) and The A-Team (15).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Inception $62,785,337 $62,785,337 1
2 1 Despicable Me $32,803,660 $118,434,555 2
3 N The Sorcerer’s Apprentice $17,619,622 $24,708,059 1
4 2 Twilight Saga: Eclipse $13,420,480 $264,791,897 3
5 4 Toy Story 3 $11,998,276 $362,965,378 5
6 6 Grown Ups $9,911,016 $129,165,357 4
7 5 The Last Airbender $7,755,153 $115,138,607 3
8 3 Predators $7,016,502 $40,300,543 2
9 7 Knight and Day $3,608,021 $69,117,400 4
10 8 The Karate Kid (2010) $2,288,707 $169,290,675 6

Box Office Predictions Recap
Mediocre at best this week. I started pretty good getting the top placings correct but fell off a little as I really did not think that Predators would drop quite so much. Of course Inception was the easy pick for the top spot and I was actually in the right ballpark for the gross. The money was a hard thing to predict as the movie walks the line between being too out there and being a summer crowd pleaser it really could have gone one way or the other, then again this is Christopher Nolan’s follow up to the enormously successful The Dark Knight.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Inception $62,785,337 $68 million
2 2 Despicable Me $32,803,660 $31 million
3 3 The Sorcerer’s Apprentice $17,619,622 $23 million
4 4 Twilight Saga: Eclipse $13,420,480 $16 million
5 5 Toy Story 3 $11,998,276 $15 million
8 6 Predators $7,016,502 $12.5 million
6 7 Grown Ups $9,911,016 $9 million
7 8 The Last Airbender $7,755,153 $7 million
9 9 Knight and Day $3,608,021 $4.5 million
10 10 The Karate Kid (2010) $2,288,707 $3 million
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