‘Inception’ set to fend off three Box Office rookies

Los Angeles: Leonardo DiCaprio is set to remain king of the North American Box Office for a third weekend, despite the arrival of three new films led by the 3D sequel ‘Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.’

DiCaprio`s dreams thriller ‘Inception’ is likely to earn USD 25 million-USD30 million during the three days beginning Friday. The Christopher Nolan saga boasts more than USD 167 million in domestic earnings entering the weekend.

Besides ‘Cats & Dogs,’ new releases include ‘Dinner for Schmucks,’ a comedy starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, and the Zac Efron paranormal fantasy ‘Charlie St. Cloud.’

Both ‘Inception’ and ‘Cats & Dogs’ come from Warner Bros., which is expecting a 1-2 weekend. The first ‘Cats & Dogs’ bowed in July 2001 with USD 21.7 million, and ended up with USD 93.4 million domestically. Expect ‘Kitty Galore’ to open a bit higher but just below the weekend tally for ‘Inception.’

The USD 85 million live-action picture features talking animals voiced by James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Christina Applegate, Roger Moore, Neil Patrick Harris and Sean Hayes. Brad Peyton gets a first feature-directing credit on the Village Roadshow co-production.

Director Jay Roach`s ‘Schmucks’ should do best with younger men while topping USD 20 million through Sunday. The Paramount-DreamWorks-Spyglass co-production totes an estimated USD 55 million cost.

‘St. Cloud,’ the USD 44 million story of a young man (Efron) who can still see his dead younger brother, could woo as much as the midteen millions from young women. Burr Steers (Efron`s ‘17 Again’) directed the Relativity-Universal project.

In a notable expansion, ‘The Kids Are All Right’ hits wide distribution for the first time, quadrupling to 847 theatres in its fourth weekend. Focus Features had planned to broaden the lesbian-themed comedy-drama to at least 500 locations but upped its expansion plans amid continued high screen averages and rave reviews. The film boasts a USD 6 million total.

In a limited bow, Sony Pictures Classics` period dramedy ‘Get Low’ -- starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black -- opens Friday in two New York locations and two in Los Angeles.

Bureau Report

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