Weekend Box Office: PUSS IN BOOTS Tops with $34 Million in Record Halloween Weekend

     October 30, 2011

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Dreamworks Animation’s Puss in Boots was poised to have a killer weekend, but Snowtober had other plans. The 3D Shrek spinoff still claimed the top spot with $34 million, but a freak snowstorm in the Northeast and Halloween weekend led to this weekend being fairly soft overall. Despite all the snow, Puss still managed to earn the record for Halloween weekend, narrowly beating out 2006’s Saw III which took in $33.6 million. The sci-fi actioner In Time opened to an as expected $12 million, while the weekend’s other wide release The Rum Diary made a mere $5 million. Hit the jump for more. [Update: The post has been updated with analysis on the full top ten.]

  Title Weekend Total
1 Puss in Boots $34,000,000 $34,000,000
2 Paranormal Activity 3 $18,500,000 $81,300,000
3 In Time $12,000,000 $12,000,000
4 Footloose $5,400,000 $38,400,000
5 The Rum Diary $5,000,000 $5,000,000
6 Real Steel $4,700,000 $73,900,000
7 The Three Musketeers $3,500,000 $14,800,000
8 The Ides of March $2,700,000 $33,500,000
9 Moneyball $2,400,000 $67,400,000
10 Courageous $1,800,000 $27,600,000

puss-in-boots-movie-poster-04Puss in Boots performed way short of its cousin predecessor, Shrek the Fourth, which opened to over $70 million last year. It’s not really fair to compare the two, as Shrek is one of the most successful animated franchises of all time, but Dreamworks had to be hoping that Puss would spawn a new franchise as Shrek the Fourth brought their Ogre-infused franchise to a close.

In Time, the sci-fi actioner from acclaimed writer-director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, The Truman Show), performed pretty much in line with expectations with $12 million. The film features a strong lead performance by Timberlake and a high-concept premise, but was hindered by less than enthusiastic reviews and a lack of A-list talent. In Time is actually the highest grossing weekend on Niccol’s directorial resume, beating out 2005’s Lord of War which took in $9 million (Niccol only wrote The Truman Show, Peter Weir directed). Whether the film has strong legs remains to be seen.

Johnny Depp played it (relatively) straight in The Rum Diary, but apparently audiences only flock when he’s decked out in pirate gear or heavy makeup. The adaptation of the Hunter S. Thompson book of the same name opened with a mere $5 million this weekend. This was the lowest opening weekend for Depp in a starring role since the $9 million earned by 2007’s musical Sweeny Todd. The Rum Diary garnered mediocre reviews, and lacked any action set pieces or flashy characters the usually reel audiences into Depp pics.

Paranormal Activity 3 took in $18.5 million in an expected drop, but could see good business on Halloween Monday. The weekend take was still pretty solid, and is good enough for second place. The second film in the franchise took in $84 million domestically, but Paranormal Activity should surpass that by Monday as its total currently sits at $81.3 million.

in-time-movie-posterThe Footloose remake also fared strong, taking in $5.4 million to land at number four. The total take stands at $38.4 million, far from a runaway hit but still respectable given the initial scorn that the film was greeted with before positive review after positive review started to hit.

Shawn Levy’s Real Steel has started to drop off, as it brought in $4.7 million over the weekend for a domestic total of $73.9 million. Though that number is nothing to scoff at, the film looks like it won’t have as long of legs as many had expected given the positive reviews and strong opening weekend.

The action-heavy update of The Three Musketeers looks to be an official bomb, as it landed at number seven in its second week, taking in only $3.5 million for a total of $14.8 million for the 3D action-adventure epic. Star Milla Jovovich lashed out at Summit as she felt they neglected to market the “great family adventure film”. However, the film is doing much better overseas as its international total now stands at $64 million.

George Clooney’s political drama The Ides of March continues to have strong legs as it finished in eight place with $2.7 million. After four weeks at the box office, the intimate character drama has raked in an impressive $33.5 million. The film is sure to be an awards contender, and audiences seem to be responding to the positive reviews and awards buzz. The same can be said of Moneyball, as that pic brought in $2.4 million in its sixth week at the box office. The baseball drama stands at a whopping $67.4 million domestically, and has been drawing serious awards response as well.

Finally, the Christian film Courageous continues to chug along with $1.8 million for the weekend. Made on a shoestring budget with nary a star in sight, the pic has brought in $27.6 million overall thanks to a large response from churches all over the country.

Next weekend will see two high-profile releases go toe-to-toe, with Brett Ratner’s star studded heist comedy Tower Heist going up against the threequel A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.

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