As pleased as I am at the box office success of Quentin Tarantino's ambitious, pretty terrific Inglourious Basterds, I wonder how many of the folks who saw it this weekend knew what they were getting into. Its clever, funny marketing campaign aside, the movie is two and a half hours of mostly talking, mostly in foreign languages. Movies that fit that description do not have $37.6 million opening weekends. We should know by next weekend whether or not people were duped (and I should say that it's not clear -- the movie is plenty exciting despite, or perhaps in part because of, all the gabbing). For the moment, Inglourious Basterds, "artfully" misspelled title and all, is easily Quentin Tarantino's biggest opening.

Robert Rodriguez, Tarantino's occasional partner in crime, also had a movie opening this weekend -- the kiddie 3-D adventure Shorts. With $6.6 million, Shorts actually wound up being a personal worst for Rodriguez, who has never had a movie open in wide release to weaker numbers. (The similarly low-profile The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl did roughly twice the business.) And the non-descript, poorly reviewed Post Grad joins a growing list of late-summer total non-starters, with $2.8 million on 2000 screens.

Julie & Julia continues to perform well for Sony. Aside from holding up nicely in general, it's doing well during the workweek -- and, after three weeks, is at three times its opening weekend gross. The Ugly Truth has also acquitted itself, now having surpassed Katherine Heigl's previous effort as a leading lady, 27 Dresses.

The full top 10 after the jump.

1 - Inglourious Basterds (Weinstein Co.) - $37.60 ($11,881) - $37.60
2 - District 9 (TriStar) - $18.90 ($6,197) - $73.49
3 - G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Paramount) - $12.50 ($3,162) - $120.53
4 - The Time Traveler's Wife (New Line) - $10.03 ($3,355) - $37.45
5 - Julie & Julia (Sony) - $9.00 ($3,654) - $59.29
6 - Shorts (Warner Bros.) - $6.60 ($2,126) - $6.60
7 - G-Force (Disney) - $4.21 ($1,642) - $107.32
8 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Warner Bros.) - $3.52 ($1,816) - $290.28
9 - The Ugly Truth (Sony) - $2.85 ($1,446) - $82.89
10 - Post Grad (Fox) - $2.80 ($1,429) - $2.80

Next week: The Final Destination and Halloween 2 are opening against each other... why, exactly?