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    Inception Cooler Than Schmucks, Zac Efron

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception Melissa Moseley/Warner Bros. Pictures

    The dream continues for Inception.

    The Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio sci-fi thriller went three-for-three at the weekend box office, topping the competition with an estimated $27.5 million.

    Steve Carell, Zac Efron and house pets were among the vanquished. Certain parties were more vanquished than others.

    Carell's and Paul Rudd's $60 million-ish Dinner for Schmucks opened OK, with $23.3 million—in the neighborhood of Carell's (cheaper) Date Night. For Rudd, the debut was a career-best for a movie that could accurately be called a Paul Rudd movie.

    Efron's Charlie St. Cloud ($12.1 million) proved one thing: His audience ain't just kids anymore. Four out of every moviegoers were said to be older than 25.   

    Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore ($12.5 million) proved another thing: Just because you charge 3D prices, doesn't mean you'll make money. The original Cats & Dogs opened with $21.7 million in back in 2001 2.D. 

    Elsewhere:

    Inception's three-weekend box-office reign ties Shrek Forever After's for most No.1 finishes this summer.

    The $160 million epic has now grossed $193.3 million domestically. Among all 2010 films, it stands in seventh place.

    On one hand, Charlie St. Cloud opened bigger than Remember Me ($8.1 million back in March). On the other hand, the $44 million Efron movie cost more than twice as much to make as the $18 million Robert Pattinson movie.

    If High School Musical-adoring tweens are no longer Efron's audience, then who is? Presumed torso-admiring females, who made up nearly 80 percent of Charlie St. Cloud's moviegoers. 

    • Angelina Jolie's Salt ($19.3 million) held well, and moved its worldwide take past $100 million.

    In case you were wondering, Salt is now the biggest-opening Jolie movie ever in the Ukraine.

    Despicable Me ($15.5 milllion) broke $190 million domestically; Adam Sandlers sturdy Grown Ups topped $150 million.

    If you want to crush the spirit of a film critic, tell her the $150 million The Last Airbender ($1.8 million, and out of the Top 10 after five weekends) has grossed $127.2 million domestically, and north of $165 million worldwide. 

    Here's a complete look at the weekend's top-grossing films, per Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

    1. Inception, $27.5 million
    2. Dinner for Schmucks, $23.3 million
    3. Salt, $19.3 million
    4. Despicable Me, $15.5 million
    5. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, $12.5 million
    6. Charlie St. Cloud, $12.1 million
    7. Toy Story 3, $5 million
    8. Grown Ups, $4.5 million
    9. The Sorcerer's Apprentice, $4.3 million
    10. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, $4 million

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    Photos: Totally New Releases!

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