Warner's Inception topped the daily box office for a fourth consecutive day on Monday. The big-budget sci-fi action film from writer/director Christopher Nolan grossed $10.19 million for the day. That was down 47 percent from Sunday, which marks the third straight impressive daily hold for the film. Clearly, terrific early word of mouth is already helping boost the film's performance. The first-Monday hold for Inception wasn't quite as strong as the 44 percent decline 2008's The Dark Knight experienced, but it was stronger than the first-Monday daily holds of 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean (-48 percent), 2006's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (-49 percent) and 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum (-53 percent).
The four-day start for Inception now stands at a very solid $72.97 million. Inception is currently running a slim 7 percent behind the pace of The Bourne Ultimatum, but boasted a 12 percent stronger first-Monday gross than the last Bourne film thanks to stronger early holding power. With Inception showing no signs of slowing thus far, the film already looks to be on course for a very strong second weekend hold (especially for a film of its size).
Also continuing to hold up well on Monday was Despicable Me. Universal's computer animated blockbuster finished in second with $4.88 million. That was down 51 percent from Sunday and down a healthy 35 percent from last Monday. Though it was produced for significantly less than recent computer animated releases from both Pixar and DreamWorks, Despicable Me is performing very similarly to films from those studios such as 2006's Cars and 2008's Kung Fu Panda. With an eleven-day start of $123.32 million, Despicable Me is running 1.8 percent ahead of Cars and 1.5 percent ahead of Kung Fu Panda without taking into account ticket price inflation.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice remained in third place with $2.14 million. However, the big-budget adventure film from Disney was down 59 percent from Monday. That represented one of the day's larger daily declines, which is especially concerning given the film's family appeal. The Sorcerer's Apprentice has grossed a disappointing $26.85 million in its first six days of release, placing it 9 percent behind the six-day start of last month's Knight and Day.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished in fourth with $2.04 million. The blockbuster sequel from Summit was down 47 percent from Sunday and down 53 percent from last Monday. Eclipse has grossed $266.83 million through 20 days of release, leaving it $33.17 million away from reaching the $300 million domestic milestone.
Disney's Toy Story 3 rounded out Monday's top five with $1.89 million. Toy Story 3 was down 49 percent from Sunday and down 32 percent from last Monday. With a 32-day gross of $364.86 million, Toy Story 3 is now $35.14 million away from the $400 million milestone.