Sony’s Will Ferrell comedy The Other Guys usurped Inception for the first time in four weeks as it opened top on an estimated $35.6m.

This was an excellent launch for the buddy-movie action comedy, which pairs Ferrell with Mark Wahlberg as police department underachievers who get their shot at proper crime fighting. Eva Mendes, Dwayne Johnson, Samuel Jackson and Steve Coogan round out the cast and Ferrell’s business partner Adam McKay directed.

Inception had to settle for second place and added $18.6m for $227.7m. It remains the top international release on $250m and has already amassed $477.7m worldwide.

The dance film Step Up 3-D opened third on $15.5m, one place ahead of Sony’s spy thriller Salt, which is ticking along on $91.9m after three weeks in release.

Universal’s animation hit Despicable Me in sixth crossed $200m in its fifth week as $9.4m boosted the score to $209.4m. Stablemate Charlie St Cloud boasting the teenage eye candy that is Zac Efron fell 62% in its second weekend to eighth place on $23.5m.

Disney’s Toy Story 3 in ninth place stands at $396.3m after eight weeks and is a fraction off $900m worldwide.

Focus Features’ Sundance hit The Kids Are All Right climbed to tenth place and added $2.6m from 994 theatres for a $14m running total after a mere five weeks in play.

Next weekend will be a big one as three wide releases with broad but distinct appeal roll into theatres. Lionsgate releases Sylvester Stallone’s testosterone-drenched action romp The Expendables, in which the action veteran leads an army of snarling warriors old and new including Jason Statham, Jet Li, Steve Austin and Mickey Rourke.

Sony opens the drama EatPray Love with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem in the leads, based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-discovery bestseller. Finally, Universal unleashes Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Edgar Wright’s adaptation of the cult comic book. Michael Cera stars.

Estimated Top 10 North America August 6-8 2010

Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) The Other Guys (Sony) SPRI $35.6m –

2 (1) Inception (Warner Bros) WBPI $18.6m $227.7m

3 (-) Step Up 3-D (Buena Vista) Summit Int’l/WDSMPI/Universal $15.5m –

4 (3) Salt (Sony) SPRI $11.1m $91.9m

5 (2) Dinner For Schmucks (Paramount-DreamWorks) PPI $10.5m $46.7m

6 (4) Despicable Me (Universal) UPI $9.4m $209.4m

7 (6) Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore (Warner Bros) WBPI $6.9m $26.4m

8 (5) Charlie St Cloud (Universal) Various $4.7m $23.5m

9 (7) Toy Story 3 (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $3m $396.3m

10 (12) The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features) Inferno $2.6m $14m