Inception, the sci-fi thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio, topped the North American box office for a second straight weekend, holding off a challenge by Angelina Jolie's spy action film Salt, final receipts showed Monday.
The mind-warp summer blockbuster -- one of only a handful of original, non-sequel movies to gain that title this year -- hauled in 42.7 million dollars in receipts for the weekend, for a total 142.9 million in its 10 days of release, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
With The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan at the helm, the flick about a thief who specializes in infiltrating dreams and stealing thoughts has wowed critics with its complex science fiction concepts.
Inception cut down on the ticket intake for the timely Salt,"which took second spot with 36 million dollars in its debut weekend. Jolie, Hollywood's biggest female action flick superstar, plays captivating CIA agent Evelyn Salt, who is accused of being a Russian spy and must prove her innocence while on the run.3-D animated film Despicable Me slipped one spot to third, with 23.7 million dollars in receipts. The film from Universal Pictures, starring Steve Carell as the voice of Gru, a villain bent on snatching the moon, has earned a surprise total of 161.3 million dollars in its three weeks of release.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice took fourth place with 9.7 million dollars, for the Nicholas Cage-starring story of a magician battling evil alongside his hapless pupil. Toy Story 3 held the fifth spot with 8.9 million dollars in receipts and a six-week total of 379.4 million dollars.
Debuting in sixth was Fox's Ramona and Beezus, a dramedy about the lives of two young sisters based on the beloved series of children's books by author Beverly Cleary. It pulled in 7.8 million dollars. Seventh place was claimed by Grownups, the Adam Sandler and Chris Rock comedy about a reunion of high school friends, which earned 7.4 million dollars in its fifth week.
A previous top earner, vampire romance The Twilight Saga: Eclipse fell to eighth place with 7.2 million dollars, but still enjoyed its 279.8-million-dollar feeding from its four weeks in theaters.
The Last Airbender, director M. Night Shyamalan's cinematic take on the popular Avatar television cartoon series about beings endowed with powers to control air, earth, water and fire, came in ninth with 4.2 million dollars.
Predators, updating a 1987 sci-fi classic about CIA-hired commandos hunted by an alien predator in the Central American jungle, rounded out the top 10, earning 3.1 million dollars.