North America box office goes to "Puss in Boots"

Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:03pm EDT
 
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Animated movie "Puss in Boots" landed on its feet with a $51 million global debut over the weekend and likely set a Halloween weekend record for a domestic opening, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.

The big-budget 3D spinoff from the blockbuster "Shrek" series took top domestic box-office honors, while the new Steven Spielberg-directed "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" performed strong in international markets.

"Puss" lapped up a solid $34 million from North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters, which will top the $33.6 million Halloween weekend record set by horror movie "Saw 3" if the figure holds when the final tally is released on Monday.

Audiences polled by survey firm CinemaScore gave "Puss" an A- rating on average. Antonio Banderas provided the voice for the sword-fighting cat, which was originally seen as a sidekick in the "Shrek" movies.

DreamkWorks Animation, which produced "Puss" for about $130 million, said the movie performed within expectations. An early snowstorm in the East likely shaved "a couple million" off the weekend's sales, said Anne Globe, chief marketing officer for DreamWorks Animation.

Knowing many families were busy with Halloween activities, the studio plans a big push to bring in filmgoers next weekend, Globe said. "We're well-positioned to maximize the release going into November. I think we will have strong word of mouth," Globe said.

"Puss" added $17 million from three international markets for a combined total of $51 million.

Other moviegoers seeking a Halloween scare opted for horror flick "Paranormal Activity 3." The low-budget haunted house sequel, last week's box-office winner, slipped to second place with $18.5 million. Its worldwide sales to date reached $136 million since the movie hit theaters a week ago.   Continued...