Monday update: My usual box office report I'm going to pass on today because I already spent the weekend discussing much of this. I will just add a few pointers here.... Inception'sstill got $100 million to go, at least, before the complex blockbuster is anywhere close to making it's money back domestically - but Warner Bros. and director Chris Nolan will have woke up on Monday morning delighted with how the weekend went for them. The $60.4 million total is impressive for an original property (no matter how hyped) and as long as word of mouth stays strong and it avoids a 50% drop by next weekend, then it should have no problem at all of knocking down that $300 million we think WB will have expected from Nolan. According to Deadline, it made just shy of $6 million in the U.K. since Friday. The other big story of the week is the second high-profile flop for Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer (the other - Prince of Persia) as their Nicolas Cage starrer The Sorcerer's Apprentice struggled to gain awareness against Inception - finishing the weekend on $25 million after 5 days of release. I've heard $150 million for the budget, so they will be counting on overseas attendances to save their blushes but honestly, it looks like a lost cause. Was it too dark for a kids film (it had Nine Inch Nails song on it's soundtrack), is that why parents didn't take them to see it? Predators suffered an horrific 73% drop from it's opening weekend and although Fox will be happy that it's matched it's $40 billion budget after 10 days - it's proof enough that they were correct not to fund an expensive tentpole because everyone who showed for the franchise last weekend was the loyal audience, and there's not much beyond that.
------------------------------Sunday morning update: Inception had a better than expected Saturday, taking in a further $22.5 Million and estimates now suggest it could be on for a $62 million opening weekend. That would make it the fifth highest opener of the year, and indeed the highest for a completely original property. The biggest indicator of how Inception might do is probably the thematically similar Leonardo DiCaprio starrer Shutter Island which started life on $42 million but finished it's run on $294 million - so Inception should easily break that elusive $300 million barrier we spoke of. And then some. Though as we keep saying, it needs to keep this pace for another week yet to be sure.
------------------------------Nikki Finke has the early Friday numbers for Inception, and rejoice - it's off to a very healthy start! On Friday it took $21 million, including $3 million from the midnight screenings and it's well on course to return $55 million for the weekend. This was around the safe-bet studio figure, the total it needed to make and it has. But then, you know, the movie is the critically acclaimed live-action film of the summer, and the most hyped movie of the year - and yet it's still going to fall way short of the opening weekends of last year's Transformers 2 ($108 million), Star Trek ($75 million), and even Fast and Furious ($70 million). That's a mute point though really as the movie is doing well for an original, un-mainstream, blockbuster - but it just goes to show why films like Inception are such a rarity. We all expected Inception to be an Avatar style slow-burn ($77 million opening... then MONEY, MONEY, MONEY), and the real indicator as to whether Inception is going to follow in the same footsteps for Warner Bros, is going to be over the next 10 days or so. Will those who see it this weekend like it, hell even understand it and recommend it to their friends and family? That's going to prove to to be the tipping point. But there should be all smiles at WB for now! Meanwhile, I'm going to save this for my usual Sunday box office report - but Disney's The Sorcerer's Apprentice has sunk for Disney, earning just $5.2M Friday and it's staring at $17 million for the weekend. I've heard $150 million for the budget, so once again Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney - just like they were with Prince of Persia - are counting on overseas attendances to save them. This article is likely to float around at the top of Obsessed With Film for the weekend or so as more of our readers see the film. So scroll down below to see the latest articles, and remember to vote on Inception (there's even an option if you aren't going to see it)... The first time I mentioned Inception on OWF was way back on February 11th last year, some 519 days ago, when I reported that Warner Bros. had greenlit a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind based on an original idea by Christopher Nolan. I said;
As expected, Nolan doesnt wanna be seen as just the BATMAN guy and is once again helming a movie in between two Warner Bros. smash hits. It mirrors what he did with his smaller, more personal project THE PRESTIGE which began casting almost immediately after BATMAN BEGINS hit cinemas. Though INCEPTION sure doesnt sound like just a small flick.Boy, is that the understatement of the century? I'm 7 days removed from my first of many trips to see Inception and the emotional reaction I had to the striking images and complex ideas, still linger with me. I called it Chris Nolan's 'magnum opus' or his career masterpiece if you will, and I highly recommend it to anyone who ever loved movies, really. But enough of what I thought, The Dream is Now Real and I wanna hear your feedback on Inception. Is it Nolan's masterpiece? Was it too complex for you to enjoy? Is it to pretentious, to overly-ambitious for it's own good or is it the awe-inspiring, spectacular summer blockbuster we hoped it would be and reminded you of the true power of cinema? Is it the best movie of the year, or the last few years? Is it even better than The Dark Knight? If you see the movie (and I can't imagine any reader not at this point), YOU HAVE TO LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK HERE (spoilers allowed).