DiCaprio leads worldwide box office

Sun Aug 1, 2010 7:53pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Leonardo DiCaprio's dreams thriller "Inception" ruled the North American box office for a third weekend on Sunday, and also overtook "Toy Story 3" to claim top honors internationally.

"Inception" fended off three middling newcomers, led by the Steve Carell comedy "Dinner for Schmucks," to sell $27.5 million worth of tickets across the United States and Canada during the three days beginning on Friday.

Its domestic total rose to $193.3 million, said its distributor Warner Bros., which remained confident that it would finish up around the $300 million mark.

Internationally, "Inception" pulled in $53.7 million from 51 markets, taking its foreign total to $170 million. It opened at No. 1 in Germany ($7.1 million), and retained its crown in France and Australia.

"Dinner for Schmucks" opened to $23.3 million in North America, in line with expectations but down from the $25 million start for Carell's previous live-action movie "Date Night" in April.

The opening was "solid," said Don Harris, executive VP for distribution at Viacom Inc-owned distributor Paramount Pictures, which partnered on the $63 million project with closely held producers DreamWorks and Spyglass Entertainment.

"Schmucks," which garnered mixed reviews, stars Carell as a buffoon invited to a party for oddballs hosted by wealthy businessmen who lampoon their idiocy. Paul Rudd co-stars, and Jay Roach of "Austin Powers" fame directs.

The film was marketed at men but women liked it better, Harris said. He hoped the film would follow a similar trajectory as the Adam Sandler hit "Grown Ups," which has earned $150.7 million to date.

"CATS & DOGS" ROADKILL   Continued...