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‘Inception’ holds off strong-smelling ‘Salt’

By Scott Mendelson

hollywoodnews.com: ‘Inception’ was number one at the Friday box office yesterday, pulling in $13.2 million on its second Friday. That’s a moderate drop of 39% from last Friday’s $21.6 million opening day.

The film has capitalized on strong word of mouth and the mydrid multiple interpretations that merited repeated viewings for those with that kind of time (I’ve seen just eight films in a theater twice since 2005, none since May 2008 when I took my dad to see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull). The Chris Nolan mind bender posted solid weekday numbers that propelled it over $100 million on Thursday (that’s just seven days, which is pretty impressive for a movie that opened with $62 million).

The second weekend drop should be somewhere around 35%, or a second weekend total of $40 million, which is incredibly impressive in this frontloaded box office age.

Not to be completely outdone, Angelina Jolie proved her worth as an action star once again, as ‘Salt’ opened with $12.7 million on its first day. The film has scored Ms. Jole’s fourth-biggest opening day for a live-action starring vehicle, behind Wanted ($19 million), Tomb Raider ($18 million), and Mr. and Mrs. Smith ($17.4 million). Point being, while Jolie may be iffy in a dramatic vehicle, she is worth whatever you can afford to pay her as an action star, and she may be one of the last true bankable action leads left in this industry.

The other opener, ‘Beezus and Ramona,’ grossed $3 million in its first day. ‘Despicable Me’ held up remarkable well and grossed $8 million (-21%) in its third Friday, while ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ grossed $2.9 million (-46%) in its second Friday. More info when the weekend numbers are released tomorrow.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

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