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'Inception' keeps rolling overseas with big China debut

September 6, 2010 |  1:39 pm

Inception It may be one of the most complex summer blockbusters to ever hit U.S. theaters, but "Inception" is having no trouble translating overseas.

Director Christopher Nolan's mind-bending thriller about dreams within dreams starring Leonardo DiCaprio opened in China this weekend and pulled in an estimated $13.6 million over five days, according to distributor Warner Bros. That makes it the fourth most popular foreign movie to ever open in the Communist country, which each year lets in only 20 pictures made outside its borders.

The previous American movies that had bigger launches in China were this past winter's 3-D sensation "Avatar" and the two "Transformers" films from 2007 and 2009.

With continuing ticket sales in other countries where it opened earlier this summer, "Inception" racked up $24.4 million in foreign grosses this weekend, bringing its international total to $418.9 million. That's substantially more than the $278.4 million it has collected in the U.S. and Canada, where the movie is expected to finish its run in a few weeks at around $300 million.

With Italy still to open, "Inception" will likely go past $450 million overseas and has a shot at surpassing "Shrek Forever After," which currently stands at $480.7 million, for the second-highest-grossing movie internationally to open this summer. The most successful by far is "Toy Story 3," which has collected $622 million from foreign moviegoers.

-- Ben Fritz

Related:

Warner gambles on an unproven commodity

Photo: Marion Cotillard and Leonardo DiCaprio in "Inception." Credit: Credit: Melissa Mosely / Warner Bros.

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