Weekend Box Office: Hang in there, kitty
Although it opened, in the words of our own Scott Tobias, “softer than Rocky before the Ivan Drago fight,” Puss In Boots rallied in Round Two, holding on to the No. 1 spot with an unexpectedly robust $33 million, a negligible 3-percent drop that keeps the Dreamworks CGI spinoff well above the weekend’s two big new releases. This puts Puss on track to pass $100 despite its disappointing opening weekend—one of Dreamworks’ lowest ever—before another animated contender in the form of Warner Bros.’ Happy Feet Two enters the ring in two weeks. (Also holding on strong this week: Footloose at No. 6 with a slight 17 percent drop in its fourth week, and the No. 7 Real Steel, which is spending its fifth week in the top 10 and helping me put a nice little bow on this tortured boxing metaphor.)
The Brett Ratner-helmed Tower Heist took the No. 2 spot with a lower-than-expected $25.1 million, perhaps shunned by spurned audiences who were still hoping to pay $60 to watch the Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller action-comedy at home three weeks after its release. Whereas the target audience for A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas likely just forgot to go see the stoner duo’s second return to theaters; even with higher 3D prices accounting for 95 percent of the ticket sales, the comedy opened at No. 3 with $13 million, well below the $14.9 million debut of its non-3D 2008 predecessor, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay.
Things weren’t any less underwhelming over on the limited-release side of the ledger: Andrea Blaugrund Nevins’ punk-rock parenthood documentary The Other F Word took in a respectable $7,800 a screen—though it only showed on two screens—while Charlotte Rampling: The Look took about half that on the same number of screens. And though it had the highest gross of this week’s indie debuts, The Son Of No One’s $19,800 take is considerably less impressive when averaged out to $1,800 per each of its 11 screens.