'Inception' dreams up $21.6 million Friday

'Sorcerer's Apprentice' stalls in third place with $5.4 mil

Moviegoers surrendered to the spell of Christopher Nolan's "Inception" on Friday as the tricky thriller bowed to an estimated $21.6 million in North America.

That figure, which included $3 million from midnight screenings, was on the high end of expectations for the Warner Bros./Legendary movie, which is playing in 3,792 theaters. It sets up the PG-13-rated film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a sort of dream thief, to collect as much as $60 million over its first frame.

But Disney's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," the weekend's other new wide release, didn't conjure up similar success at the boxoffice. The Jerry Bruckheimer production, starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Jon Turtletaub, opened Wednesday to $3.9 million but didn't develop much momentum by Friday, when it took in about $5.4 million in 3,504 locations.

That put the PG-rated fantasy about warring sorcerers in third place for the day as it eyes a weekend gross in the high-teen millions and a five-day figure in the mid-$20 million range.

Securely in the second spot, Universal Pictures' animated "Despicable Me" took in around $10 million as it headed into its second weekend.

Summit's "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," which passed the $250 million mark on Thursday, collected about $4.5 million as it held down fourth place as its third weekend began.

"Toy Story 3," from Disney and Pixar, which crossed $350 million on Thursday, pulled in an additional $3.4 million as it checked in in fifth place.
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