What a difference a weekend makes! Shares of Dreamworks animation shot up 12 percent on Monday on word that its latest feature, Puss in Boots , declined only 3 percent over the weekend -- the smallest drop for a movie during a non-holiday period ever -- as it wound up with $33.1 million. A week ago, they had declined 8 percent when the film opened at the low end of expectations. After 10 days, Puss has now grossed $75.5 million. The news was not so good for Universal, whose Tower Heist opened in second place with $24 million. Virtually every box office pundit had predicted it would easily win the top position. The result, however, had no effect on Comcast shares, which remained flat. Warner Bros.' new low-budget A Very Harold & Kumar 3-D Christmas opened as expected with $13 million. Shares in Time Warner also remained virtually unchanged. Each film opened in 3D and therefore 3D surcharges are included in its gross. Overall, the box office declined 27 percent from a year ago. Total domestic ticket sales for the year now stands at $8.66 billion, down 4 percent from last year, while attendance is down 4.8 percent.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. Puss in Boots, Paramount/DreamWorks Animation, $33,054,644, 2 Wks. ($75,527,682); 2. Tower Heist, Universal, $24,025,190, (New); 3. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas , Warner Bros., $12,954,142, (New); 4. Paranormal Activity 3 , Paramount, $8,333,691, 3 Wks. ($95,116,745); 5. In Time , 20th Century Fox, $7,481,592, 2 Wks. ($23,990,237); 6. Footloose, Paramount, $4,470,135, 4 Wks. ($44,719,755); 7. Real Steel , Disney, $3,436,086, 5 Wks. ($78,779,328); 8. The Rum Diary , Film District, $2,920,481, 2 Wks. ($10,356,215); 9. The Ides of March , Sony, $1,938,197, 5 Wks. ($36,738,482); 10. Moneyball , Sony, $1,786,441, 7 Wks. ($70,213,831).

08/11/2011