'Inception' has a dreamy Friday box office

inception-joseph-gordon-levitt-01-320.jpg "Inception" has invaded America's consciousness like a virus ... or is it an idea?

The high-concept sci fi thriller by Christopher Nolan easily nabs the top spot on opening day (July 16), raking in an estimated $21.3 million, reports Variety.

This also includes an impressive $3 million take from the Thursday crowds staying up to take in the midnight shows. Besides the ubiquitous ads, "Inception" is getting quite a bit of word of mouth buzz, not only for its dreamy sequences and top-notch performances, but also for its much-discussed ending.

Alas, the week's other opener "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" didn't have much magic, its $5.4 million coming in third after last week's top family film "Despicable Me," which earned a respectable $10 million.

The remaining Top 10 films:

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" - $4.5 million
"Toy Story 3" - $3.45 million
"Grown Ups" - $3.2 million
"The Last Airbender" - $2.2 million
"Predators" - $2.1 million
"Knight and Day" - $1 million
"The Karate Kid" - $650,000

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Photo credit: Warner Bros.