'Inception' edges 'Salt' on Friday

Angelina Jolie actioner takes in $12.7 million

Adding some popcorn-pic zest to the summer boxoffice season, Sony's Angelina Jolie starrer "Salt" appears headed for a spicy first-weekend tally.

The PG-13 action thriller rung up an estimated $12.7 million to grab second place in the daily rankings during its initial day of release on Friday and remains on track to register $35 million or so through Sunday. Warner Bros.' Leonardo DiCaprio starrer "Inception" started its second frame in theaters with a slightly better $13.2 million to top all comers on Friday, but Leo and Angie could continue to arm-wrestle for the No. 1 weekend ranking.

The solid first-day start by Jolie's "Salt" keeps the onetime tomb raider's return to the world of careening cars and action mayhem firing on all cylinders, should she continue to steer in that direction as a strategic career course. Her well-received role as a CIA spy in "Salt" follows a stunt-studded turn in 2008's action thriller "Wanted," a $341 million worldwide grosser.

With Sony hoping to shake loose a possible new film franchise from "Salt," a similarly successful theatrical run likely would mean at least one more actioner in Jolie's foreseeable future once a sequel gets greenlighted. "Salt" begins its overseas rollout next weekend.

"Inception" boasts $113.4 million in cumulative boxoffice through eight days in multiplexes. Its impressive Friday tally reflects just a 39% decline from its week-earlier opening day boxoffice and follows notable midweek grosses for the pic.

That means the weekend-over-weekend drop by "Inception" should be modest and a leggy run could be in the offing for the well-reviewed PG-13 pic.

Elsewhere among the daily rankings, Fox debuted the G-rated comedy "Ramona and Beezus" in fourth place with $3 million in Friday coin. Saturday and Sunday matinees should bolster weekend receipts, with "Ramona" looking likely to fetch up to $10 million through Sunday.

Disney's Nicolas Cage-toplined "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" entered its sophomore session with $2.9 million in Friday grosses. That was good for fifth place on the day, with the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced family fantasy now toting a $36 million cume.

Disney's 3D phenom "Toy Story 3" ranked sixth on Friday with $2.8 million on the day and cume of $373.2 million.

Universal's 3D animated feature "Despicable Me" copped the bronze medal in the Friday rankings, with $7.3 million and a $144.9 million cume.
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