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July 26, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Sony’s Salt, starring Angelina Jolie, made a solid debut over the weekend with an estimated $36.5 million, but it was far outpaced by the second week of Warner Bros.’ Inception, which fell just 31 percent and amassed $43.5 million, bringing its 10-day total to $143.7 million. The result surprised some analysts. Since Salt is only about an hour-and-a-half long, it could be shown in theaters each evening one more time than Inception, which runs an hour longer. Moreover, the two movies ran virtually neck-and-neck on Friday — all of which led some analysts to speculate that many moviegoers checked out Salt on Friday, then returned to the theaters over the weekend for a second go-round with Inception in an effort to figure out some of the plot’s puzzles. Among the three family films in the top ten, Universal’s Despicable Me continued to lead with $24.1 million for the weekend, dropping just 26 percent. Costing a reported $60 million to produce, it has now taken in $160 million in just 17 days. Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 remained in the top five, adding $9 million more to its domestic gross, which now stands at $359.5 million. According to box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian, it now ranks as the 12th highest-grossing film of all time. Meanwhile, Fox’s Ramona and Beezus opened with $8 million — ordinarily regarded as a disappointing amount, except when a film, like Ramona, costs only about $15 million to make.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. Inception, $43.5 million; 2. Salt, $36.5 million; 3. Despicable Me, $24.1 million; 4. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, $9.7 million; 5. Toy Story 3, $9 million; 6. Ramona and Beezus, $8 million; 7. Grown Ups, $7.6 million; 8. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, $7 million; 9. The Last Airbender, $4.2 million; 10. Predators, $2.9 million.

A final tally put each of the top ten slightly below their estimated earnings. Inception came in at $42.72 million. Salt drew $36.01 million. Despicable Me placed third with $23.69 million. Opening in sixth place was Ramona and Beezus with 7.81 million.

Inception (Music From The Motion Picture)
Inception: The Shooting Script