Film Weekend Per Total
1 Inception $27,520,000 (-35.6%) $7,763 $193,348,000
2 Dinner for Schmucks $23,300,000 $8,004 $23,300,000
3 Salt $19,250,000 (-46.5%) $5,329 $70,800,000
4 Despicable Me $15,543,000 (-34.4%) $4,315 $190,349,000
5 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore $12,525,000 $3,381 $12,525,000
6 Charlie St. Cloud $12,136,000 $4,465 $12,136,000
7 Toy Story 3 $5,035,000 (-43.5%) $2,392 $389,674,000
8 Grown Ups $4,500,000 (-39.4%) $1,983 $150,713,000
9 The Sorcerer’s Apprentice $4,320,000 (-55.2%) $1,712 $51,881,000
10 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $3,965,000 (-44.8%) $1,699 $288,200,000

This just in: Not the bees.

Inception can still be seen as a risky gambit, even if now its success is self-evident. Basically, after The Dark Knight, Warner Brothers owed Christopher Nolan the space to make the movie he wanted to. And even after a reasonable but not earth-shaking opening weekend, there was no way to know if the public had any sort of affection for the movie. But now we’re closing in on $200 Million, which the film should hit by Wednesday. And though I doubt Nolan will ever make a film as successful as Knight, a film that hits the zeitgeist button like TDK did, he’s got a following and he should be able to make more films like this. Of course Batman 3 comes next, but he’s in the most enviable position in Hollywood (“doggy”) one could hope to be in. And also, the crazy great thing is that Nolan has proved he has to do his more personal films on a larger scale, as The Prestige did not bring them in (but also, pre-TDK). It’s good to be the king.

Schmucks could get to $100 domestic, as that’s how comedies can play, but the word of mouth on the picture hasn’t been friendly, and the film doesn’t have the “go to regardless” qualities of Adam Sandler, who has been a movie star for fifteen years now. People know what they’re getting with Sandler, which partly explains Grown Ups’ $150 Million total. Schmucks is facing The Other Guys next weekend, and that film – from all accounts – kills. Which suggests a 50% drop for this movie. $60 Million might be more like it. And if anyone takes the hit, it’s Jay Roach, who’s coming off a very successful run of comedies.

Salt‘s on cruise control to $100, maybe a little more. It’s a film that will redeemed by international. Despicable Me could keep playing, so it’ll be over $200 next weekend, and I would guess it ends up around Shrek 4’s numbers, which is $235 Million. The funny thing is that’s a huge win for Despicable and a bad number for Shrek. But apples don’t taste like oranges.

Cats and Dogs and Charlie St. Cloud were in spitting distance of each other box office-wise, but Cats cost twice as much. Charlie has listed production budget of $44 million, which shocked me, I guess there’s more special effects or Ray Liotta’s got a bigger quote than I thought. I mean, Zac Efron’s probably paid pretty well, but even with – what? – ten million off the top, that shit’s more expensive than you’d think. I think both are probably going to do around $30-$40 domestic, and both likely will have a slightly-better-than-their-gross-suggests ancillary success. Elizabeth Banks put it out there that Efron in 17 Again was doing it for her, so this likely has a similar “long bath” appeal.

Toy Story 3 will make it to $400, even as it begins to lose a number of screens, while Eclipse should do right around the $296 that New Moon did. The sadness is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which will be off a lot of screens next week, and probably won’t get to $60 Million domestic. Outside the top ten The Kids are All Right expanded okay, but didn’t crack the top ten. Depending on how wide it goes (I don’t see another expansion), this may be the high point for the film, unless word of mouth goes crazy. The Academy may like it, but it will be out on DVD/Blu-ray by December. Perhaps that will be the push the film needs to get in the ten, but a lot of heat will be gone. People are going to have to love it, not just respect it.