UPDATED: Weekend Predictions: 'Inception'

Featured Stories - on July 15, 2010 by Phil Contrino

A sorcerer and an invader of dreams enter the Summer 2010 frame

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Thursday Update: Check out our final weekend predictions in the table at the bottom of this entry.

Final location counts: Inception 3,792 (new); The Sorcerer's Apprentice 3,504 (new); Despicable Me 3,501 (+25); The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 4,001 (-467); Toy Story 3 3,177 (-576); Grown Ups 3,074 (-389); The Last Airbender 2,805 (-398); Predators 2,669 (0); Knight and Day 1,925 (-703); Karate Kid 1,532 (-926); Standing Ovation 623 (new).

Wednesday Update: Even though the duo of Jerry Bruckheimer and Nicolas Cage is usually dynamite at the box office, a Christopher Nolan/Leonardo DiCaprio pairing will claim the top spot from Despicable Me this weekend.

While a Wednesday release may help The Sorcerer's Apprentice build up some buzz before the Inception juggernaut hits theaters, a lot of signs point to a general lack of interest in the Disney release.

According to the most recent BOXOFFICE WebWatch report, The Sorcerer's Apprentice holds only a 3.33% share of online opinions among unreleased films, which puts it well behind Inception's dominant 28.49% share. It even ranks behind late-July releases such as Salt and Charlie St. Cloud.

In terms of fan support on Facebook, Sorcerer's Apprentice trails Disney's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Persia had more than 160,000 fans on the day of its release, while Sorcerer's Apprentice has only hit 95,000. In terms of tweet volume, Sorcerer's Apprentice has been behind the likes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and The Karate Kid all week.

As of 3 p.m. PT, Fandango.com is reporting that Sorcerer's Apprentice is responsible for 23% of daily sales, which puts it in second place behind Despicable Me at 26%. It's not a good sign that Jerry Bruckheimer's latest production wasn't able to overtake Universal's animated flick on its first day of release.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice looks poised for a five-day haul of $32 million and a weekend take of $22 million from around 3,385 locations.

Riding into theaters on a wave of a glowing reviews and helped by a creative marketing blitz that doesn't give away key details, Inception is being viewed as a kind of savior for a summer full of disappointing sequels and lame attempts to build new franchises. While hard-core movie fans are certainly responding, a decent amount of casual moviegoers may still be on the fence about Christopher Nolan's mind-bender. Most critics are quick to point out that Inception demands a lot of attention and analysis from its viewers and that's not a common trait for a summer blockbuster. Inception does promise plenty of great action set pieces, but its dense nature is bound to turn off patrons looking for mindless thrills.

Fan support for the Warner Bros. release on Facebook is nothing spectacular, but its presence on Twitter is truly astounding considering that only the likes of Iron Man 2 and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse spawned more activity this summer.

As of 3 p.m. PT, Fandango is reporting that Inception is responsible for 21 percent of daily sales. A solid number to be sure, especially for a film that is bound to appeal to older audiences.

Look for Inception to start its theatrical run with $65 million from around 3,700 locations.

After a surprisingly strong debut, Despicable Me should hold up quite well. The Steve Carell vehicle boasts a healthy 71% approval rating on Flixster and its grosses on Monday and Tuesday were excellent.

Expect Despicable Me to tack on another $32 million to its already impressive haul.

Check out our top 10 predictions in the table below.

 

Title Release Date Distributor  Weekend Gross
Cumulative
Inception Jul 16, 2010 Warner Bros.
$65,000,000 $65,000,000
Despicable Me Jul 9, 2010 Universal
$33,000,000 $118,300,000
The Sorcerer's Apprentice Jul 14, 2010 Disney
$20,000,000 $27,000,000
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Jun 30, 2010 Summit
$14,500,000 $266,500,000
Toy Story 3 Jun 18, 2010 Disney
$12,800,000 $364,300,000
Grown Ups Jun 25, 2010 Sony / Columbia
$9,800,000 $129,300,000
Predators Jul 9, 2010 Fox
$7,700,000 $41,300,000
The Last Airbender Jul 1, 2010 Paramount
$7,100,000 $115,100,000
Knight and Day Jun 23, 2010 Fox
$4,300,000 $70,100,000
The Karate Kid Jun 22, 1984 Columbia
$2,800,000 $170,100,000

Additional reporting by Daniel Garris and Alex Edghill.

Tags: Inception, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Despicable Me

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