Puss in Boots Tops Box Office with Fluffy but Soft Debut

by | Oct 30th, 2011 | 9:24PM | Filed under: Box Office News, News

1) Puss in Boots — $34 million

It was the first family film in a month (since Dolphin Tale) and the first new animated release since July’s Winnie the Pooh (not counting the Lion King 3D re-release last month). Yet Puss in Boots didn’t exactly claw up the box office. Opening with less than half of Shrek Forever After‘s debut (though Shrek 4 was a summer release, which always means bigger box office), the spin-off’s first-weekend haul was also lower than last spring’s Rio, Hop, and Rango, and below last fall’s Megamind. Several factors may have slowed the box office: Game 7 of the World Series, Halloween parties, Eastern bad weather. And Puss has yet to open in most foreign markets, where stars Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek should boost its overseas earnings.

Read Erika’s full review

2) Paranormal Activity 3 — $18.5 million

As usual for horror films, the threequel (shriek-quel?) took a big tumble in its second weekend, falling 65%. Still, PA3‘s brought in $136 million worldwide–not bad in two weeks for film that cost $32 million.

Read my full review

3) In Time — $12 million

The high-concept, sci-fi action-thriller also underperformed at the box office this weekend, despite a teen-friendly PG-13 rating and sexy stars Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.

3) Footloose — $5.4 million

The extremely enjoyable remake is hanging in the top five after three weekends in release, but with a $38 million total domestically, it’s struggling to dance past its $58 million budget. My guess is a lot of folks are going to wait to check it out on home video this winter and be very pleasantly surprised at how good it really is.

Read my full review

5) The Rum Diary — $5 million

Unfortunately my personal favorite among the top five performed the most poorly of the week’s three new wide releases. Still, for fans of Johnny Depp, Hunter Thompson, and Withnail & I director Bruce Robinson, and for those who complain Depp only makes big blockbusters anymore and not the smaller, stranger films we used to love from him: Here you go!

My full review coming soon

The rest of the Top Ten included Real Steel, The Three Musketeers, The Ides of March, Moneyball, and Courageous.

Director Roland Emmerich’s Shakespearian “Who-wrote-it?” thriller Anonymous opened in 265 theaters, hoping to build up buzz for future expansion. However, the big art-house draw over the weekend was the limited debut of the young-love romance drama Like Crazy, which only played in four theaters, but averaged a hefty $30,000 per location. Also continuing to do well as they expanded to more sites were the dramas Martha Marcy May Marlene and Margin Call.

This Coming Weekend

I (and redblog reader Dave) were right last week about Puss in Boots, but this coming weekend could be much trickier to predict.

Puss in Boots should hang in fairly strongly, and even a 45% fall would still leave it with a respectable $19 million.

That might be enough to hold off two new challengers: Brett Ratner’s PG-13 comedy Tower Heist with Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller, and the heavily hyped third Harold and Kumar movie: the extremely R-rated A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas.

I hate to bet against Ben Stiller comedies during the holiday season (and yes, November officially begins the movie “holiday season”)–Tower Heist feels like exactly the kind of broad-appeal comedy that’s going to have wide audience appeal.

But on the other hand, there seems to be an awful lot of anticipation building for Harold and Kumar among lovers of R-rated comedy, pot humor, gratuitous sexual chaos, and NPH’s bad-boy behavior. That plus 3D ticket sales could rocket the raunch-fest to the top.

I’m not feeling super confident about this, but just to keep things interesting I’m going to pick A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas for the win. Anyone want to make a better case for a Puss in Boots repeat or a Tower Heist victory?

What do you guys think will come out on top of the box office this coming weekend?


3 Responses to “Puss in Boots Tops Box Office with Fluffy but Soft Debut”

  1. Dave
    Posted on October 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Puss n Boots will see a lot of family business as the weather gets colder. It wins, with Harold & Kumar second and Tower Heist a close 3rd.

  2. Fiirvoen
    Posted on October 31, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I think Tower Heist will take it, but not by much with Puss in Boots taking second.

  3. moviegoer123
    Posted on October 31, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    1. Tower Heist
    2. Puss N Boots
    3. Harold Christmas
    4. Paranormal Activity 3
    5. In Time