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'Salt' seasons box office with $36.5 million; 'Inception' still on top

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salt-angelina-jolieImage Credit: Andrew SchwartzYay moviegoers! You are rewarding the best-reviewed movies of the summer with your pocketbooks. While Angelina Jolie earned an estimated $36.5 million of your money this weekend for her taut actioner SaltInception was also a huge recipient of your cash falling only 31 percent its second weekend in theaters. In fact the $43.5 million the movie earned put its total at $143.6 million for its first ten days in theaters. (In IMAX alone the film grossed $4.8 million.) Despicable Me also benefited from your discerning tastes, falling only 26 percent its third weekend in theaters for a total box office take of $161 million.

Unfortunately Ramona and Beezus did not connect with audiences. The weekend’s other new wide release generated only $8 million and landed in sixth place for its opening frame. Those who did see the movie liked it, with audiences giving the film an A- according to CinemaScore but it wasn’t enough of a crowd to push the grosses past $10 million. That’s in contrast to the B+ that Salt earned from moviegoers. Directed by Philip Noyce, the action-thriller scored equally well with men and women, though women made up a larger component of the audience with 59 percent of the audience over 25. Of course Jolie was the primary draw to the film. With Ramona, which starred newcomer Joey King and tween pop star Selena Gomez, the G-rated flick was received best by young girls and their grandmothers.

Spot four and five for the weekend went to Disney movies. Despite a weak beginning, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice held in fairly well its second weekend in theaters, losing 45 percent of its value. Grossing another $9.7 million, the PG-rated actioner has grossed $42.6 million. Toy Story 3 also earned another $9 million its sixth weekend in theaters. The monster hit of the summer lost only 25 percent of its value putting its total gross at an impressive $379 million.

Grown Ups took the seventh slot. The Adam Sandler-starrer also held up remarkably well, losing only 23 percent of its value in its fifth weekend in theaters. With an additional $7.6 million, the film’s total stands at $142 million. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is still in the top ten. The PG-13 rated romance lost 48 percent of its value its fourth weekend in release, for an additional $7 million and a total cume of close to $280 million. M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender grabbed the ninth slot while Predators took spot ten. Airbender earned an additional $4 milion putting its total gross at $123 million while Predators fell an additional 59 percent for another $2.8 million and has only grossed $46.5 million after three weekend in release.

The strong performances of the top three releases helped propel the box office to 8 percent above last year at this time when G-Force, The Ugly Truth and Orphan opened.

In limited release, The Kids Are All Right continues to do great business. The Julianne Moore, Annette Bening-starrer grossed $2.6 million in only 201 theaters. It’s per theater average of $13,000 has propelled its two-week limited gross to close to $5 million.