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Inception opens to strong $21.65 million on Friday

Inception, Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated directorial follow-up to 2008’s The Dark Knight, grossed a solid estimated $21.645 million Friday (including about $3 million from midnight showings).

Expectations for the three-day weekend range from $55-60 million. That would be a very solid start for theĀ mostly well-received film (after a flurry of incredibly positive reviews, critics have soured a bit bringing the film’s RT percentage to 83%).

Elsewhere on Friday, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice grossed a disappointing estimated $5.4 million Friday (est. $12.488M 3-day cume). ‘Apprentice’ will struggle throughout the weekend to somewhere around $23-25M for its 5-day opening. This is looking like a huge disappointment for Disney (verging on being a total flop for the $150M-budgeted / Jerry Bruckheimer-produced feature).

Taking advantage of the situation was Universal’s Despicable Me which will clear $100 million today (est. $10.05M Friday / $95.681M cume) en route to somewhere in the neighborhood of $30-35 million for the weekend.

Source: Box Office Mojo