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 nearly 25 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 $33.06 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 $24.03 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 $12.95 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 54 percent to $8.3 million in its third frame. It has now made $95.1 million, and should pass $100 million next weekend. There's also still a 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 38 percent to $7.5 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 million).

Footloose had another strong weekend, declining 19 percent to $4.47 million. The dance remake has now earned $44.7 million. Real Steel also had a light decline, easing 28 percent to $3.4 million for a total of $78.8 million.

In its second weekend, The Rum Diary fell 43 percent to $2.9 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 31 percent to $2 million for a decent $36.8 million total. Moneyball rounded out the Top 10 with a light 25 percent dip to $1.8 million for a total of $70.2 million.

Last Weekend

'Puss' Purrs Softly

This Timeframe in Past Years:

• 2010 - 'Megamind' Devises Brawny Start, 'Due Date' Pays Off

• 2009 - Moviegoers Stingy with Scrooge

• 2008 - 'Madagascar' Teems with Box Office Life

• 2007 - 'American Gangster' No. 1 with a Bullet

• 2006 - 'Borat' Bombards the Top Spot

• 2005 - Welcome to the Cluck: 'Chicken Little,' 'Jarhead' Top Weekend

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Weekend Box Office Results

• All-Time Domestic