Box Office: ‘Puss in Boots’ battles World Series and snowstorms to win the weekend

DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures knew they were taking a chance opening a tentpole animated film on the weekend before a Monday Halloween, but they never thought they’d have to deal with game seven of the World Series or a freak East Coast snowstorm.  Pre-polling had “Puss in Boots” debuting over $40 million, but all three factors contributed to a somewhat subdued $34 million instead.  Luckily for DreamWorks, “Puss” rated an A- with audiences and the picture has two more weekends before it has to deal with direct competition from “Happy Feet Two.”  The publicly traded studio may also have to hope international grosses are significantly higher to help the company’s profit margins.

Dropping hard into second place was “Paranormal Activity 3” with $18.3 million (down 65%) and $81.3 million in just 10 days.  “PA 3” will easily cross the $100 million mark and possibly the original film’s $107 million domestic gross.  That’s a huge win for Paramount considering the threequel cost reportedly only $5 million.

Debuting in third was 20th Century Fox’s “In Time.”  The Andrew Niccol thriller found just $12 million which was disappointing considering the studio’s media spend. It’s likely audiences just didn’t warm to the film’s Sci-Fi concept.

“Footloose” danced down to fourth with another $5.4 million and $38.4 million so far.  The ’80s remake should eventually break even for Paramount, but clearly isn’t the hit they were hoping for.

Having a rough time in fifth was “The Rum Diary” as the Johnny Depp triply comedy found just $5 million.  The global icon did little promotion the picture which was odd considering the strong notices he received for it.  That didn’t give distributor FilmDistrict a lot to work with on the publicity front.

Originally scheduled for a wide release, but dramatically pulled back to 250 theaters only a week ago, Roland Emmerich’s “Anonymous” grossed just $1 million or $3,800 per screen.  While the film reportedly earned an A- from moviegoers, it is hard to see it expanding to 2,000 plus screens anytime soon.

“Like Crazy” debuted in four theaters grossing $120,000 or $30,000 per screen.  That’s similar to “Martha Marcy Mae Marlene’s” $34,500 per screen last week.  

Friday’s new releases include “Tower Heist” and “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.”

Weekend actuals are released on Monday.