The Washington Post

‘Puss in Boots’ beats ‘Paranormal Activity 3’: A weekend box office Q&A


“Puss in Boots”: A box office winner. (Anonymous/AP)

Was “Paranormal Activity 3” the No. 1 movie at the weekend box office for the second week in a row?

No.

Did a new release open at the top of the ticket-selling heap?

Yes, it did.

It wasn’t a movie in which Antonio Banderas provides the voice of a cat, was it?

Uh, maybe.

More answers to pressing questions about the weekend box office — as well as a list of the top five movies in America and a poll that allows you to predict next weekend’s big winner — after the jump.

Do people love watching Banderas provide the voice of a cat who can make ultra-adorable eyes at other cartoon characters?

Evidently they do. Or at least, they do if they have kids and need something to do with them on a Saturday. That’s probably part of the reason that “Puss in Boots,” the fourth animated film in the “Shrek” franchise, made $34 million and opened at No. 1.

Boy, those “Shrek” movies are unstoppable, aren’t they?

Well, yes and no. Obviously being the No. 1 movie in America is a good thing. But comparatively speaking, that $34 million is not that impressive. In fact, as the L.A. Times notes, that’s the smallest debut for a Dreamworks Animation release in five years, since 2006’s “Flushed Away.” And if you say “flushed away” and animated to most people, they just think you’re talking about a plot point from “Finding Nemo.”

Paranormal Activity 3” still managed to scare a significant number of moviegoers, though. Right? Right?!

Well, it came in second with $18.5 million, which marked a 65 percent drop in business from the week before. On the plus side, the prequel to a prequel has earned $81.3 million in North America, which is a decent haul for a movie with a modest budget.

How did Justin Timberlake do with his sci-fi vehicle “In Time”?

Not great, but not bad. It debuted in third place and brought in $12 million.

Hold on a second. You haven’t mentioned Johnny Depp’s The Rum Diary” yet, a film that features Depp acting like he’s in an inebriated state. And as we know from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, Depp acting like he’s in an inebriated state = box office gold.

It does when Depp is playing a pirate in a Disney movie based on an amusement park ride. In a film based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel, on the other hand, Depp drunk = $5 million in its opening weekend.

Last question: did “The Three Musketeers” fare better in its second week in theaters?

Not at all. It made $3.5 million, giving it a total of $14.8 million so far. Sorry, Milla Jovovich.

The top five movies at the weekend box office, based on studio estimates, are:

1. “Puss in Boots” — $34 million

2. “Paranormal Activity 3” — $18.5 million

3. “In Time” — $12 million

4. “Footloose” — $5.4 million

5. “The Rum Diary”— $5 million

Now, vote in this box office prediction poll and weigh in with a comment: was “Puss in Boots” worthy of the No. 1 spot? What movie did you see this weekend and did it live up to your expectations? (I was pleasantly surprised by the compelling but hardly perfect “In Time.”)

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.
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