UPDATED: ‘Schmucks’ Leads ‘Inception’ at the Friday Box-Office

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UPDATED: The results from my posting early this morning have been updated. The largest change is an added $.3 million to Inception‘s total closing the gap between Dinner with Schmucks and a $1.4 million difference in the total I had for Charlie St. Cloud, which really tightens the race for #3 between Efron and Angelina Jolie’s Salt. The article below is updated from this morning’s original.

Friday box-office estimates are out and they provide a bit of a shock (at least for me) as Paramount’s newcomer Dinner for Schmucks holds a slim lead over Inception, which is in its third weekend, but is still expected to finish the three-day with the #1 slot.

Dinner for Schmucks earned an estimated $8.4 million on Friday, but I don’t think it will hold much of a strong Saturday-Sunday and wouldn’t be surprised to see it bleed under $23 million for the weekend. This leaves the door open for Inception, which earned an estimated $8.1 million. Based on the film’s excellent Saturday and Sunday performances this means it should still manage over $25 million for the weekend.

A similar tight race stands for the #2 and #3 slots as Universal’s newcomer Charlie St. Cloud starring Zac Efron earned an estimated $5.6 million for the weekend and Columbia’s Salt came in fourth with an estimated $5.5 million.

In my estimation St. Cloud is likely heavily front-loaded due to tweens turning up for an Efron vehicle, and in my estimation means the film will land somewhere around $13-15 million for the weekend.

As for Salt, it’s not doing so hot, word of mouth must not have been all that good and I can’t say I am surprised (my review). With an estimated $5.9 million on Friday it too will be looking at something like a $16 million weekend, which is a 55% drop from the film’s $36 million opening. Of course, foreign dollars are yet to role in, which should prop the film up considerably, but will it be able to make enough to impress the suits at Sony when compared to the reported $110 million budget? I wouldn’t hold my breath for the follow-up NaCl, which is too bad really, I think a sequel would be way better than the first film.

Despicable Me currently holds the fifth slot with an estimated $4.6 million, with Warner’s Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore at #6 with an estimated $4.2 million. Ouch!

I have listed the top ten directly below, and Laremy will be here on Sunday morning with a full recap of the weekend.

  1. Dinner for Schmucks – $8.4 million
  2. Inception – $8.1 million
  3. Salt – $5.9 million
  4. Charlie St. Cloud – $5.6 million
  5. Despicable Me – $4.6 million
  6. Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore – $4.2 million
  7. Grown Ups – $1.40 million
  8. Toy Story 3 – $1.45 million
  9. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – $1.3 million
  10. Ramona and Beezus – $1.2 million