Sony's Salt , starring Angelina Jolie, made a solid debut over the weekend with an estimated $36.5 million, but it was far outpaced by the second week of Warner Bros.' Inception , which fell just 31 percent and amassed $43.5 million, bringing its 10-day total to $143.7 million. The result surprised some analysts. Since Salt is only about an hour-and-a-half long, it could be shown in theaters each evening one more time than Inception , which runs an hour longer. Moreover, the two movies ran virtually neck-and-neck on Friday -- all of which led some analysts to speculate that many moviegoers checked out Salt on Friday, then returned to the theaters over the weekend for a second go-round with Inception in an effort to figure out some of the plot's puzzles. Among the three family films in the top ten, Universal's Despicable Me continued to lead with $24.1 million for the weekend, dropping just 26 percent. CoSting a reported $60 million to produce, it has now taken in $160 million in just 17 days. Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3 remained in the top five, adding $9 million more to its domestic gross, which now stands at $359.5 million. According to box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian, it now ranks as the 12th highest-grossing film of all time. Meanwhile, Fox's Ramona and Beezus opened with $8 million -- ordinarily regarded as a disappointing amount, except when a film, like Ramona, costs only about $15 million to make.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. Inception , $43.5 million; 2. Salt , $36.5 million; 3. Despicable Me , $24.1 million; 4. The Sorcerer's Apprentice , $9.7 million; 5. Toy Story 3 , $9 million; 6. Ramona and Beezus, $8 million; 7. Grown Ups , $7.6 million; 8. The Twilight Saga Eclipse, $7 million; 9. The Last Airbender , $4.2 million; 10. Predators, $2.9 million.