Warner's Inception continued to roll at the box office this weekend with a third straight first place finish. Inception did see its streak of 14 consecutive days in first place snapped by Paramount's Dinner for Schmucks on Friday, but out-grossed Schmucks on both Saturday and Sunday. Inception grossed $27.49 million for the weekend, which was down 36 percent from the previous weekend. This weekend's percentage decline for Inception was slightly larger than the 32 percent it fell last weekend, but that is a fairly common trend when high-profile films are coming off of an exceptional second weekend hold. The 17-day gross for Inception stands at an impressive $193.31 million. That places the film 14 percent ahead of the pace of 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean. Inception is set to reach the $200 million milestone on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Inception continued to perform well internationally, as it grossed $55.0 million from 51 foreign markets this weekend. The film debuted with $7.3 million in Germany, and held up quite well in a number of major markets. Key second weekend grosses included $5.4 million in Australia (down 19 percent) and $5.2 million in Korea (down 15 percent). Inception grossed $5.0 million in its third weekend of release in the United Kingdom (down 23 percent). The film's international total stands at $171.5 million, which places its current worldwide haul at $364.8 million.
This weekend's strongest new release was clearly Dinner for Schmucks. The Jay Roach directed comedy starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd opened in line with expectations with a second place debut of $23.53 million. That was just 7 percent softer than the $25.21 million debut of the recent Date Night, which also starred Carell and opened in 463 more locations. Dinner for Schmucks benefited from the limited number of comedies this summer, but the film will have its work cut out for it if it is going to hold up as well as Date Night did, especially with Sony's The Other Guys entering the marketplace on Friday.
Sony's Salt experienced a very reasonable second weekend slide of 46 percent to finish in third. The action-thriller starring Angelina Jolie grossed $19.47 million and has now grossed a solid $71.03 million in its first ten days of release. Salt is currently running 21 percent behind the pace of 2008's Wanted, but held up much stronger that Wanted did in its second weekend of release when it fell a harsh 61 percent. Internationally, Salt grossed $24.5 million over the weekend. That brings the films international total to $32.8 million and its worldwide total to $103.8 million. Key international debuts included $6.5 million in Korea, $5.5 million in Russia and $3.9 million in Japan.
Despite strong internet buzz and a solid opening day performance on Friday, Universal's Charlie St. Cloud ultimately had to settle for a fifth place finish of $12.38 million. The Zac Efron vehicle opened on the very low end of expectations and opened 48 percent softer than the $23.72 million start of the last Efron vehicle, last year's 17 Again. After opening with $5.63 million on Friday, Charlie St. Cloud generated a weak opening weekend ratio of 2.20 to 1. That isn't a good sign going forward, though the film could rebound a bit from solid summer midweek business given how heavily the film is skewing towards female moviegoers under the age of 25.
Opening in a very disappointing sixth place was Warner's Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. The sequel to 2001's Cats & Dogs opened with just $12.28 million. The film's debut was especially soft when considering its $85 million production budget, its higher priced 3D engagements and its ultra-wide launch of 3,705 locations. In fact, Cats & Dogs 2 delivered the second weakest debut ever for a film opening in at least 3,500 locations (behind only 2006's Charlotte's Web) and opened just 6 percent stronger than the recent Marmaduke (which didn't have the benefit of being in 3D). Internationally, Cats & Dogs 2 grossed $2.8 million from 4 markets (with $2.2 million coming from Russia).
Though it is now moving down the domestic chart (it finished in seventh with $5.12 million), Disney's Toy Story 3 performed very well internationally this weekend. The blockbuster sequel grossed $39.1 million from 48 foreign territories. Key international grosses this weekend included $12.4 million in the United Kingdom and $7.1 million in Japan. Toy Story 3 has grossed $436.4 million internationally and $389.76 million domestically, giving it a massive worldwide total of $826.2 million.