Los Angeles Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Inception” has won a battle of superstar action thrillers over Angelina Jolie’s “Salt” at the weekend box office.
“Inception” remained the No. 1 movie for the second-straight weekend with $43.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Warner Bros. thriller featuring DiCaprio as leader of a team that sneaks into people’s dreams raised its 10-day total to $143.7 million.
Sony’s spy caper “Salt” debuted a solid No. 2 with $36.5 million. The movie stars Jolie as a CIA operative who goes rogue after she’s accused of being a Russian sleeper agent.
Coming in at No. 3 with $24.1 million was Steve Carell’s family hit “Despicable Me.” The animated comedy raised its domestic total to $161.7 million.
In a rare convergence of fresh ideas, the top three movies all were original stories, not sequels or adaptations of comic books, best-sellers, video games or other pre-existing material.
The weekend’s other new wide release, 20th Century Fox’s family comedy “Ramona and Beezus,” took in $8 million to finish at No. 6. The movie is based on Beverly Cleary’s children’s books about a teenage girl and her accident-prone little sister.
“Inception” hung in strongly in its second weekend, its total down just 31 percent from its $62.8 million opening.
While young males usually make up the bulk of the action audience, women and older crowds were the core fans of Jolie’s “Salt.” Females accounted for 53 percent of viewers, while 59 percent of the audience was older than 25, according to Sony.
Overall revenues rose for the fourth-straight weekend as Hollywood continued to recover from a box-office swoon earlier in the summer. Receipts totaled $164 million, up 11 percent from the same weekend last year.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com.
“Inception,” $43.5 million.
“Salt,” $36.5 million.
“Despicable Me,”$24.1 million.
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” $9.7 million.
“Toy Story 3,” $9 million.
“Ramona and Beezus,” $8 million.
“Grown Ups,” $7.6 million.
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” $7 million.
“The Last Airbender,” $4.2 million.
“Predators,” $2.9 million.