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Inception leads weekend with impressive $62.8M; ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ disappoints with $17.6M ($24.7M cume) [UPDATED]

Christopher Nolan’s Inception got off to a rocking start, earning $62.785 million Fri-Sun from 3,792 theaters (including a record 197 IMAX theaters which contributed an incredible $7 million–a record for an IMAX 2D title). Comparing these actuals to the studio estimates, the film was underestimated by about 4%. The debut marks star Leonardo DiCaprio’s best opening ever, eclipsing the $41.062 million opening of February’s “Shutter Island” and Nolan’s 2nd best ever (behind, of course, the $158.412M opening of “The Dark Knight”). Friday-Saturday-Sunday breakdown:

  • Friday: $21.782 million (including $3M from midnight showings)
  • Saturday: $21.792 million (+0.0%)
  • Sunday: $19.211 million (-11.8%)

Produced on a budget of $160 million, Warner Brothers took a risk with Inception, trusting that a summer audience usually in the mood for your typical Popcorn action movie would instead gravitate towards a project with such a high level of complexity. That risk payed off, as the studio was rewarded with the 2nd biggest July launch ever for an original film (behind 2008’s “Hancock”) and best-ever July non-Holiday launch for an original film.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, meanwhile, opened to a disappointing $17.62 million for Disney ($24.708M 5-day cume). The very expensive Nicolas Cage-starrer ($150 million) marks the second major disappointment for producer Jerry Bruckheimer after May’s $200M-budgeted Prince of Persia (although that film has managed to do well overseas to the cume of $325.398M worldwide). More analysis after the jump.

Despicable Me took in $32.804 million ($118.435M cume) for second place, while The Twilight Saga: Eclipse added $13.42 million to bring its 18-day cume past $250M ($264.792 million). For comparison purposes, that’s about about 3% ahead of where ‘New Moon’ was ($256.393M) at the same point in time last year.

Also worth noting, Predators took a huge dip in its second weekend, dropping a whopping 72% to just $7.017M ($40.3M cume). On the other end of the spectrum, Toy Story 3 crossed a mile-stone earlier this week as it became the top-grossing Pixar movie of all-time (“Finding Nemo” held the record previously with $339.715M domestically). The film added $11.998 million this weekend for an 18-day cume of $362.965 million.

Sources: Box Office Mojo & Deadline Hollywood