Box Office Breakdown: Inception Dreams That It’s No. 1 Again

inception Box Office Breakdown: Inception Dreams That Its No. 1 AgainYou aren’t dreaming: Inception is tops at the box office once again. Here’s a breakdown of the top five.

1. Inception: $27.5 million ($193.3)

Over the weekend Inception joined Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Shrek Forever After as three-peat box office champions in 2010. Christopher Nolan’s cash cow continued to experience remarkable staying power — it dipped only 35 percent — and should cross $200 million by the middle of the week. The power of a spinning top and repeat viewing.

2. Dinner for Schmucks: $23.3 million (new)

The kneejerk reaction to this opening is to state that Dinner for Schmucks bombed, especially since Date Night — the last comedy with Steve Carell’s face front and center on the poster — opened to $25.2 million in the spring. But considering Schmucks opened on roughly 500 less theaters and didn’t have the benefit of Tina Fey in a co-starring role (Paul Rudd is in no way a major draw), the $23.3 million start feels just about right. Date Night — helped by great word of mouth and a lack of competition — was able to stay in the top-ten for two months. Whether or not Schmucks can repeat that trick in the busier summer is a different story.

3. Salt: $19.2 million ($70.8 million)

Down 46 percent, Salt certainly isn’t making a big dent in the cultural landscape, but it will probably cross $100 million by Labor Day and — thanks to Angelina Jolie — do strong numbers internationally. The Phillip Noyce film isn’t performing as well as Ms. Jolie’s last summer entry, Wanted — which had $90 million in the bank after two weekends — but don’t forget: That film opened the week before the Fourth of July holiday.

4. Despicable Me: $15.5 million ($190.3 million total)

There’s that Steve Carell again! With the lowest decline in the top-ten, Despicable Me continued on its warpath toward $200 million, a number it should hit sometime this week. Just imagine how much the sequel will earn!

5. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore: $12.5 million (new)

If you dragged your poor children to see Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore this weekend, child services is on their way. The 3D sequel — what, you don’t remember when the original film came out nine years ago? — was able to hold off Zac Efron’s Charlie St. Cloud by less than $400,000 to claim fifth place. Of course since Kitty Galore had production costs nearly double those of Charlie St. Cloud, Warner Bros. is probably none too pleased. They’ll wipe their tears with money from Inception.