inception box office Box office: 'Inception' beats back 'Schmucks' with $27.5 million weekend

According to weekend estimates (actual numbers will be released Monday), “Inception” tops the box office for the third weekend in a row. The dreamy drama beats back strongest new entry “Dinner for Schmucks” with a $27.5 million haul, bringing its total gross to $193.3 million.

“Schmucks” makes a comparatively strong showing, besting the Christopher Nolan thriller on Friday, but ultimately falling short with $23.3 million. Angelina Jolie‘s “Salt” drops 47 percent to 19.3 million — and third place — but still fares much better than most of the weekend’s new entries.

“Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” ($12.5 million) and “Charlie St. Cloud” ($12.1 million) stumble in at fifth and sixth, respectively, separated by only $400,000.

The full Top 10 films:

1. “Inception” – $27.5 million
2. “Dinner for Schmucks” – $23.3 million
3. “Salt” – $19.3 million
4. “Despicable Me” – $15.5 million
5. “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” – $12.5 million
6. “Charlie St. Cloud” – $12.1 million
7. “Toy Story 3” – $5.0 million
8. “Grown Ups” – $4.5 million
9. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” – $4.3 million
10. “The Twilight Sage: Eclipse” – $4 million

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Photo: Warner Brothers