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Posted at 8:45 AM ET, 08/ 9/2010

Weekend box office: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg extract 'Inception' from top spot

By Jen Chaney

Will Ferrell, Steve Coogan and Mark Wahlberg win big with "Other Guys." (Sony)

Apparently it took an exceptional duo to knock "Inception" out of its long-held No. 1 spot at the weekend box office. And that exceptional duo was Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.

Find out how "The Other Guys" joked its way into first place, what "Step Up 3D's" ticket sales could say about the prospects for the dance franchise and which indie finally broke into the top 10 in today's box office breakdown.

As mentioned above, "The Other Guys" became the No. 1 movie in North America over the weekend, earning $35.6 million and emerging as the second-strongest opening in Will Ferrell's career. (Still holding the opening-weekend record for Ferrell is "Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" with $47 million, and a lifetime gross of $148.2 million.) Why the strong showing? The largely positive reviews and solid buzz didn't hurt. And the mostly young guys who went to see it -- more than half of the audience was male and under the age of 25 -- may have needed some laughs after devoting the past few weeks to puzzling over "Inception." "Other Guys," apparently, fit a bill that "Dinner for Schmucks" didn't the weekend before.

Speaking of "Inception," it fell to second place after three weeks in the top slot, earning $18.6 million over the weekend. All things considered, the drop wasn't terribly steep. And with $227 million in domestic revenue, Christopher Nolan's dream-manipulator is at No. 6 and rising on the list of the year's top money-makers.

"Step Up 3D," on the other hand, did not fare so well. It opened in third place with $15.5 million, the weakest opening in the "Step Up" franchise. As a 3D movie, tickets for "Step Up" came with a heftier price tag than those for 2D flicks, making that low performance all the more striking. I have to think the odds of seeing "Step Up 4: Double Electric Boogaloo: The Imax Edition" have gotten slimmer.

After several weeks of solid ticket sales in limited theaters, "The Kids Are All Right" finally broke into the top 10, with a tally of $2.6 million. The Annette Bening/Julianne Moore/Mark Ruffalo indie drama has brought in about $14 million overall, more than three times what it reportedly cost to make the movie.

Next weekend brings one of the more interesting box office showdowns of the summer. In one corner, you've got the female enlightenment phenomenon "Eat Pray Love," starring the Godmother of Chick Flicks, Julia Roberts. In another corner: "The Expendables," the blow-'em-up action flick designed to shower its audience in blood, sweat and testosterone. And then -- if it's possible to have three corners -- there's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," the video-game/indie rock version of a rom-com that gained major buzz coming out of Comic-Con. In other words, it's the new age ladies vs. the old-school manly men vs. the comic-book-loving hipsters. Who wins? Make a prediction by voting in this poll.

By Jen Chaney  | August 9, 2010; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  | Tags:  Weekend Box Office  
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