Leonardo DiCaprio's dreams thriller Inception ruled the North American box office for a third weekend on Sunday, fending off three middling newcomers led by the Steve Carell comedy Dinner for Schmucks at No 2.
Inception sold $27.5 million worth of tickets during the three days beginning on Friday, taking its total to $193.3 million after three weekends, distributor Warner Bros said.
The Paramount-distributed Dinner for Schmucks followed with $23.3 million, in line with expectations but down from the $25 million start for the ubiquitous actor's previous live-action movie Date Night in April.
Also new were the costly Warner Bros sequel Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore at No 5 with a weak $12.5 million, and Universal Pictures' Zac Efron psychological melodrama Charlie St. Cloud at No 6 with $12.1 million.
Columbia Pictures' Angelina Jolie thriller Salt, which opened at No 2 last weekend, slipped one place with $19.3 million, taking its total to $70.8 million.
Universal's hit cartoon Despicable Me, also featuring Carell, was off one to No 4 with $15.4 million; its total rose to $190.3 million after four weekends.
Warner Bros Pictures is a unit of Time Warner Inc Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom Inc Columbia Pictures is a unit of Sony Corp Universal Pictures is a unit of General Electric Co's NBC Universal.