"Puss in Boots" steals second box office crown

Sun Nov 6, 2011 2:37pm EST
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Puss in Boots" snatched the domestic box office title from a band of working-class thieves in the new Eddie Murphy action-comedy "Tower Heist," studio estimates released on Sunday showed.

"Puss in Boots," an animated spinoff from the blockbuster "Shrek" movies, nabbed an estimated $48 million in global ticket sales during its second weekend in theaters.

That included an unexpectedly strong $33 million from U.S. and Canadian theaters, putting the 3D family film in first place domestically for the second week in a row.

This week's win came as a surprise as industry watchers had forecast "Tower Heist" would steal the show. Domestic sales for "Puss" dropped just 3 percent from last week, far less than the typical decline of at least 40 percent after a debut weekend.

"This is unexpectedly great news. I really think it's driven by strong word of mouth and critic and fan momentum," said Anne Globe, chief marketing officer for DreamWorks Animation, which produced the film.

The studio made a big push to bring in families this weekend after competing a week ago with Halloween, baseball's World Series and a snowstorm in the U.S. Northeast. Investors were disappointed with the $34 million domestic take for "Puss" last weekend, sending DreamWorks Animation shares down nearly 8 percent on Monday.

Over the first two weekends, "Puss" has $114.5 million in total worldwide sales.

"Tower Heist" was in second place for the weekend with $25.1 million in North American sales, at the low end of studio projections.   Continued...

<p>Cast members Antonio Banderas (R) and Salma Hayek (L) pose with characters at the premiere of the animated film "Puss In Boots" in Los Angeles October 23, 2011. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>