Weekend Report: 'Puss' Fends Off Stiller, Murphy, Stoners

With a nearly unprecedented hold, Puss in Boots easily claimed first place for the second straight weekend. Openers Tower Heist and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas both came in on the low end of expectations, though neither was an outright disappointment. Overall box office was down at least 20 percent from the same frame last year, when Megamind and Due Date opened to $46 million and $32.7 million, respectively.

Puss in Boots eased just three percent to $33.04 million in its second frame. That's the smallest non-Holiday drop ever for a saturated release (2,500+ theaters), and also smallest for a very wide release (2,000+ theaters) since My Dog Skip gained 3 percent in its second wide weekend in 2000. The miniscule decline can be attributed in part to suppressed grosses last weekend from Halloween distractions and inclement weather in the Northeast, though solid word-of-mouth (it received an "A-" CinemaScore last weekend) was surely a factor as well. Through 10 days in theaters, Puss in Boots has earned $75.5 million and should be poised for another strong frame next weekend before a barrage of family movies begins to open on Nov. 18.

Tower Heist debuted to an estimated $25.1 million from 3,367 locations. That's a bit off from other Ben Stiller comedies like Meet the Parents ($28.6 million), Starsky and Hutch ($28.1 million), Along Came Polly ($27.7 million), and Tropic Thunder ($25.8 million). It's also way down from Eddie Murphy's Norbit ($34.2 million) and slightly lower than 1996's The Nutty Professor ($25.4 million), albeit with much lower ticket sales. According to a Universal spokesperson, Tower Heist's audience was 56 percent female and 62 percent 30 years of age and older, and it received a middling "B" CinemaScore.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas opened with an estimated $13.07 million at 2,875 venues, which is a bit lower than Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay's $14.9 million start in 2008. A whopping 95 percent of that tally came from 3D presentations at 2,550 locations, which is a higher 3D share than The Lion King (in 3D) (92 percent) or Shark Night 3D (86 percent). Exit polling indicated that the audience was 62 percent male and 73 percent under the age of 35, and it earned a "B" CinemaScore. As Christmas movies usually hold up well, the third Harold & Kumar should hang in better in coming weeks than Guantanamo Bay, though it's going to be tough to keep a substantial number of 3D theaters through Thanksgiving and in to December.

Paranormal Activity 3 fell 53 percent to an estimated $8.53 million in its third frame. It has now made $95.3 million, and should pass $100 million next weekend. There's also still a very obscure chance that it could ultimately close above the first movie's $107.9 million total.

In Time rounded out the Top Five by easing just 36 percent to $7.7 million. Among recent sci-fi thrillers, that's a better hold than both Source Code and The Adjustment Bureau, albeit with a lower 10-day total ($24.2 million).

Footloose had another strong weekend, declining 17 percent to an estimated $4.55 million. The dance remake has now earned $44.8 million. Real Steel also had a light decline, easing 29 percent to $3.4 million for a total of $78.8 million.

In its second weekend, The Rum Diary fell 42 percent to $2.99 million for a weak $10.4 million total. It is now a lock to become star Johnny Depp's lowest-grossing release in over 2,000 theaters since 1999's The Astronaut's Wife.

The Ides of March eased 29 percent to an estimated $2 million for a decent $36.8 million total. Moneyball rounded out the Top 10 with a light 20 percent dip to $1.9 million for a total of $70.3 million.

Around-the-World Roundup: 'Tintin' Wins Again

The Adventures of Tintin expanded in to the rest of Europe and the Middle East and easily repeated a top the foreign box office charts this weekend. In Time received a bit of a boost from an expansion, while Puss in Boots continued to dominate in Russia.

Tintin added an estimated $40.8 million from 45 territories, which brings its two-week total to $125.3 million. The Steven Spielberg animated adventure's best debut came from a solid second place start in Russia ($5.9 million). However, its top market was once again France, where it plummeted 64 percent to $7.8 million after its enormous opening last weekend. It held extremely well in Spain (easing 12 percent to $6.15 million), and it also added $3.6 million in Germany and $3.3 million in the United Kingdom. Finally, the movie was up 25 percent to $2.5 million in author Herge's native Belgium. Next weekend, Tintin is set to expand in to a handful of smaller Asian markets like India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

In Time grossed $16.5 million in 51 markets for a total of $37.6 million. It had a solid opening in the U.K. ($3 million), but was unimpressive in Mexico ($1 million) and Brazil ($609,000). Its top market ended up being holdover Russia, where it dipped 21 percent to $3.9 million.

Puss in Boots earned another $15 million from just four markets, most of which was collected in Russia. It eased just 10 percent to $13.6 million for a total of $35 million there, which makes it the 11th highest-grossing movie ever after just two weekends. Overall, Puss in Boots has made $39 million so far in its very limited overseas run.

Paranormal Activity 3 continued to generate scares all over the world as it scored $14.1 million from 50 markets. It debuted in first place in Germany with $3.6 million and had a decent $1.8 million start in Japan. The movie has so far earned $77.1 million overseas, and with a few openings still remaining it will almost certainly wind up topping Paranormal Activity 2's $92.8 million foreign total.

Real Steel has quietly become a bit of a foreign hit over the past month—the robot boxing movie added another $10.7 million for a total of $127.2 million from 38 territories. According to distributor Walt Disney Pictures, that's just 61 percent of their overseas potential, meaning Real Steel could be on its way to around $200 million total. It will move one step closer to that goal when it expands in to China this weekend.

Along with its estimated $25.1 million domestic debut, Tower Heist grossed $9.5 million from 23 foreign markets this weekend. It had solid starts in the U.K. ($2.3 million), Germany ($1.7 million) and Spain ($1.6 million).

Rise of the Planet of the Apes extended its reign overseas with another $7.5 million. Most of this comes from China, where it eased 26 percent to $6.6 million. Overall, the movie has made $292.8 million overseas, and it shouldn't have much of a problem closing north of $300 million.

Johnny English Reborn added $7.3 million for an overseas total of $139.6 million. In the process, it eclipsed predecessor Johnny English's $132.5 million total.

Other Notables - Weekend Gross - Gross-to-Date
Contagion - $5 - $45.5
The Help - $3.2 - $22.2
The Smurfs - $1.2 - $416.5
Footloose - $1.1 - $10