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Maybe it’s the yellow feather in his cap, or the way he holds a sword with such bravado.
Whatever it is, Puss in Boots’ charms are making him quite the leading man, as the animated film in which he makes his first star turn topped the box office for a second straight weekend with $33 million – nearly equaling its $34.1 million debut.
That sort of steady performance is rare: by dropping just 3 percent, “Puss in Boots” broke the previous record “hold” of a non-holiday movie, 1996’s “Twister,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Distributor Paramount Pictures made the right decision by moving up the release of “Puss in Boots” by a week, and the “Shrek” spinoff cartoon from DreamWorks Animation is also benefiting from a rather weak set of new releases as competition. It also has the family film field to itself.
"To have a hold at this level is extraordinary," said DreamWorks Animation’s Anne Globe.
Families checked out the adventures of young Puss (voiced by Antonio Banderas), Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) in droves on Saturday, giving the movie a Friday-to-Saturday increase of 94 percent, EW.com noted.
The favorite coming into the weekend – Universal Pictures’ “Tower Heist,” an ensemble action comedy starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy and directed by Brett Ratner – placed second with $25.1 million.
It was followed in third by the underwhelming “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” from New Line and Warner Bros. with $13.1 million, which is slightly less than the last sequel, their “Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” generated.
Predictably, “Paranormal Activity 3” fell substantially to fourth place and $8.5 million, after a successful two-weekend run at or near the top. It’s raked in $95.3 million – 19 times what it cost to produce.
“In Time” followed at No. 5 with $7.7 million.
In the bottom half of the top 10, “Footloose,” “Real Steel,” “The Ides of March” and “Moneyball” are all holding up well deep into their theatrical runs.
At the foreign box office, Steven Spielberg's “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” topped the list for the second straight weekend with $40.8 million, for a total of $125.3 million. It’s coming to the U.S. just before Christmas.
“Puss in Boots” is a big hit in Russia, where it’s garnered $35 million of its $39 million international total. Add to that its domestic take of $75.5 million, and the movie has brought in $114.5 million in all – though it did cost $130 million to make.
“Like Crazy” delivered the best per location take – $16,875 – with a total of $270,000 from 16 theaters.
And while it may be working at the margins of the box office chart at No. 16, “Margin Call” grossed a healthy $774,000 in 178 theaters, pushing its total up to $2.6 million.
Almost no one paid to see “The Son of No One,” a crime thriller starring Channing Tatum, Al Pacino and Katie Holmes, which debuted in 11 theaters to $19,800 in sales – a total EW called “pitiful.”