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‘Puss’ Towers Over ‘Heist’ at Box Office

Almost matching its opening weekend of $34 million dollar for dollar, Puss in Boots  stayed on top for another week with an estimated $33 million, giving it a two-week total of $75.5 million. Nothing new attracted families this week, so a well-received spinoff from a popular brand (that many people missed anyways due to busy Halloween weekend) made the saucer-eyed kitty an easy pick.

Puss in Boots grossed slightly below newcomer Tower Heist on Friday before exploding 93.6 percent on Saturday, shattering even the most optimistic sophomore predictions. After a huge pounce in Russia last week, “Puss” dipped by just a few million there as well, which contributes to an early worldwide total of $114.5 million.

Failing to meet expectations in second, however was the broad caper comedy Tower Heist, which made away with $25.1 million for Universal and a $7,455 per theater average. Pundits had this one at $30 million on the low end, but even with surprisingly good reviews and plenty of starpower from Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, audiences were hesitant and powered the Brett Ratner-directed flick to only a mid-level opening among popcorn heist films. Another $9.5 million came from 23 overseas markets as well. Domestically, audience reaction was also right down the middle with a "B" CinemaScore, but I would expect this one to play well in coming weeks.


Smoking two joints before they smoked two joints was the lovable duo of Harold and Kumar in the aptly titled A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, which debuted in third with $13.1 million. This was up from the original which became a sleeper hit after a $5.5 million debut, but down from “Escape from Guantanamo Bay’s” $14.9 million start in 2008. The brand nevertheless has held up well over its eight-year tenure and for a low-brow, stoner 3D Christmas movie (that did not debut close to Christmas) it’s a respectable, if not brow-raising, showing.

The Top Ten

1. Puss in Boots - $33M (weekend)…$75.5 (gross)
2. Tower Heist - $25.1M…$25.1M
3. A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas - $13.1M…$13.1M
4. Paranormal Activity 3 - $8.5M…$95.3M
5. In Time - $7.7M…$24.0M
6. Footloose - $4.6M…$44.8M
7. Real Steel - $3.4M…$78.7M
8. The Rum Diary - $3.0M…$10.4M
9. The Ides of March - $2.0M…$36.8M
10. Moneyball - $1.9M…$70.3M

Again thanks to improved weather and a lack of ghouls roaming the streets, cinema-goers flocked out to see what they missed last weekend as all the remaining films in the top ten saw great holds.

Paranormal Activity 3 stabilized after its second weekend crash dropping 53 percent which equated to an $8.5 million weekend and $95.3 million gross. The low-budget scare-fest is still on track to become the highest grossing of the bunch and has collected a towering $172.4 million globally.

Justin Timberlake and co. managed to steal a few more hours of life thanks to a small dip of 36.6 percent for In Time after a so-so debut last week. Faring even better across boarders, the sci-fi thriller has taken in $38 million over two weeks, with Fox predicting a $100 million international run. The Rum Diary also held up decently, but that won’t help its embarrassing $10.4 million take over 10 days.

The real story from the international market is the domination of The Adventures of Tintin, which in two weeks has amassed a colossal $125.3 million ahead of its North American debut. With many markets still to open and the holidays looming, this Steven Spielberg-directed adventure could turn out to be one the year’s biggest smashes.

Three vastly different films debut next week in theaters starting with a mid-week launch from Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar starring Leonardo DiCaprio. After beginning in just seven houses, on Friday it will balloon to 1,900. Adam Sandler will test his comedic skills in drag with Jack and Jill which rolls into an aggressive 3,000-plus theaters. Finally, visual stylist Tarsem Singh will get his 300 mojo on with the mythical action flick Immortals, which slices into 3,000 cinemas.



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