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Nolan’s ‘Inception’ #1 For 3rd Weekend; Carell’s ‘Dinner For Schmucks’ Opens #2; But Zac Efron’s ‘Charlie St Cloud’ Only #6

SUNDAY AM: As July ended, three opening studio movies — Dinner For Schmucks, Charlie St Cloud (which collapsed 32% from Friday to Saturday because Zac Efron’s High School Musical fans frontloaded the grosses), Cats & Dogs 3D: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore – made for a crowded summer box office what with holdovers Salt, Inception, and Despicable Me still going strong. Here are Friday, Saturday, weekend, and cume U.S. and Canada grosses. This weekend will be the first since June 4th without a $30+ million grossing pic. But overall ticket sales still look to total $135M a point or two ahead of last year:

1. Inception (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,545 Dates]
Friday $8.1M, Saturday $10M, Weekend $27.5M (-36%), Cume $193.3M

Look at those dreamy legs… Chris Nolan’s original film for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures just keeps going, and going, with great holds. It’s the No. 1 movie for the 3rd straight weekend after briefly giving way to Dinner With Schmucks Friday.

2. Dinner For Schmucks (Paramount) NEW [2,911 Dates]
Friday $8.4M, Saturday $8.3M, Weekend $23.3M

TParamount, DreamWorks, and Spyglass all financed a third of the $62M budget. (This is the first movie new DreamWorks invested in.) Paramount has worldwide distribution and will roll out international in the fall. The behind the scenes maneuvering to turn this comedy from a mediocre grosser to average moneymaker makes for an always interesting but far from atypical story. Back on June 9th, I reported that the buzz had been “it’s not working” on this pic so Paramount, DreamWorks, and Spyglass delayed Dinner For Schmucks originally … Read More »

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Zac Efron Looks To Play Soldier And Gunman In Next Two Pics

By | Monday July 26, 2010 @ 6:25pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Zac Efron, who opens Friday in Universal’s Charlie St. Cloud, is on the verge of closing on deals for what figure to be his next two star vehicles. His likely next pic is The Lucky One, a Scott Hicks-directed adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel for Warner Bros and producer Denise DiNovi and Kevin McCormick. Efron will play a soldier who returns from Iraq with a picture of a girl that became his good luck charm. He seeks out the girl and they develop a relationship. Will Fetters and Doug McGrath wrote the script.

He’s also taken a shine to Die in a Gunfight, a high octane action script written by neophytes Andrew Berrer and Gabriel Ferrari, both of whom just signed with WME, fresh out of NYU. Efron will play a young New York kid who falls in love with the daughter of his father’s nemesis, setting in motion a Romeo and Juliet-like forbidden romance. The project hasn’t been shopped yet–Mark Gordon’s steering it as producer–and they will likely put on a director first for a potential spring start. I’ve got to give a shout out here to Vulture, which was faster on the draw with the Efron information than I was. CAA and manager Jason Barrett rep him.

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Hot Trailer: Zac Efron’s ‘Charlie St. Cloud’

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