Box Office Stunner: ‘Puss in Boots’ has amazing hold to win weekend

DreamWorks Animation stockholders should breathe a sigh of relief.  It looks like last weekend’s subpar results for “Puss in Boots” really was about the snowstorm that shutdown the Northeast.  After debuting to $34 million in the no. 1 slot last weekend, “Puss” grossed an incredible $33 million in its second weekend.  That will likely be off a smudge when actual grosses are tabulated on Monday, but it’s a stunning 3% drop as audiences finally caught up to the positively reviewed “Shrek” spinoff. After 10 days, “Puss” has now grossed a very good $75 million. The animated adventure has one more weekend of free sailing before strong family competition arrives with “Happy Feet Two” on Nov. 18.

Debuting in the second slot was the Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy heist film “Tower Heist” with $25.1 million.  That’s substantially under the $30 million plus pre-polling had indicated and Universal Pictures was hoping for.  Mediocre reviews didn’t help, but it’s likely audiences began to realize the picture was more heist movie and less comedy.  When you put Murphy and Stiller together, moviegoers want big laughs.  Word quickly spread that’s not what “Heist” delivers.

“A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” landed in third with just $13 million.  That’s actually less than the $14.3 million “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” found a little over three years ago.  And, like “Tower Heist,” studio tracking anticipated a bigger opening ($18-20 million) that didn’t happen.  Perhaps the “Harold & Kumar” stoner audience didn’t want to shell out the extra bucks for a 3D ticket? 

“Paranormal Activity 3” dropped to fourth with another $8.5 million for the three-day and $95.3 million to date. The horror blockbuster should cross the $100 million mark sometime next weekend.

Fifth place went to “in Time” which grossed another $7.7 million for $24.2 million in 10 days.

Next weekends new releases include “Immortals” and “Jack and Jill.”

Final box office results are released on Monday.