"Salt" can’t shake "Inception" at box office

LOS ANGELES, July 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Angelina Jolie’s new spy
thriller “Salt” failed to take the North American box office
crown from Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Inception,” which enjoyed a
stronger-than-expected hold in its second weekend.

According to studio estimates issued on Sunday, “Inception”
earned $43.5 million during the three days beginning on Friday,
while “Salt” was at No. 2 with $36.5 million.

Pundits had predicted “Salt” might hit the $40 million
range, although distributor Columbia Pictures said the opening
was in line with its expectations.

The three-day estimate represents a significant drop from
the $50 million openings for each of Jolie’s last big films,
“Wanted” and “Mr and Mrs Smith.”

Jolie earned $20 million for “Salt,” a timely thriller
about Russian sleeper spies preparing to bring the United
States to its knees. The high-energy action role was originally
envisaged for Tom Cruise, who went on to make the box office
dud “Knight and Day” instead.

“Inception,” starring DiCaprio as a thief who steals
secrets from deep within people’s subconscious, raced to $143.7
million after 10 days, thanks to a drop of just 31 percent from
last weekend. Movies generally lose about half of their
opening-weekend audience.

“It’s driven by word of mouth, it’s driven by repeat
business already,” Warner Bros. domestic distribution president
Dan Fellman said of the film’s strong hold.

The $160 million project was written and directed by
Christopher Nolan, the English filmmaker responsible for the
last two “Batman” movies.

Columbia Pictures is a unit of Sony Corp (6758.T: )(SNE.N: ).
Warner Bros. Pictures is a unit of Time Warner Inc (TWX.N: ).

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(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by John O’Callaghan)

“Salt” can’t shake “Inception” at box office