The Reject ReportAnd we’re back. Three cups of coffee, and these boots are made for walking. Granted, the walking might be a little jittery. That’s what happens after you’ve gone through a whole pot of the magical, black stuff. It’s kind of like catnip for adult humans. And it all comes back full circle. The circle this week leads to Puss in Boots, that lovable side character from the Shrek films who’s finally getting his own animated adventure. He’s sure to take the grand ball of yarn this weekend, but he’ll have some stiff competition from the returning Paranormal Activity 3 and the triple threat himself, Justin Timberlake, finally getting his name above the title on an action/sci-fi/epic. It’s the Reject Report this week, and we’re seeing the bottom of the cup. Coffee coffee coffee.

BIG HITTERS

Ever since Shrek hit it huge in 2001 ($42.3m opening weekend) DreamWorks Animation has been the go-to number two for all things animated feature. Hit after hit after Flushed Away after hit, they’ve come back ready to find their latest franchise to milk. Now that milk is in a saucer, and the cat’s about to lick it up. Sometimes these descriptions just write themselves. Puss in Boots looks to be yet another monster hit for the animated studio, but don’t expect the Shrek spin-off to have the same level of success as the big, green giant. There’s no chance his latest film will have the same kind of opening weekend as something like Shrek 2 ($108m opening weekend), the movie where Puss in Boots made his debut. However, the numbers will be in definitely in the film’s favor this weekend. Expect it to hit somewhere around $50m, maybe a little over, just enough to guarantee another franchise and enough to keep Antonio Banderas’ mortgage well above water. Cats hate water. That’s how that works.

If ever there was a reason to show you, my devoted readers, a clip of cute cats, it’s for Puss in Boots. So here you go. I think I’m doing this right:

Justin Timberlake has had his fair share of success at the box office. Just look at movies like The Social Network ($22.4m opening weekend) and Friends With Benefits ($18.6m opening weekend) to attest to that. But now he’s taking the lead, this time by himself, and this time headlining an action movie. In Time is using Timberlake to its advantage. Amanda Seyfried, too. But it’s going to be the combination of Timberlake, Seyfried, and the sci-fi action premise that is what’s going to bring In Time its decent sized opening here. It’s likely to come in somewhere in the high teens, enough to continue Timberlake’s growth as a leading man. You know, because he could use all the help he can get.

Step 1: Cut a hole in the box. You know the rest:

And then there’s Johnny Depp and The Rum Diary, a film that was shot more than two years ago but has sat on a shelf all this time. Reports of Depp being too busy filming Pirates 4 keeping him from doing press were among the reasons given for the film’s delay. Whatever the case, it’s out now, and it’s looking like it will be a whimper, not a bang, for Depp. Some analysts are even pegging The Rum Diary to come in somewhere in the single digits this weekend. I’m optimistic. It’s Depp after all. He touches something, and it turns to gold. Or chocolate. Or Alice. I’m lost in this analogy. Regardless, look for The Rum Diary to pop in somewhere around $11-12m.

FAMILIARITIES

The returning champion of October, Paranormal Activity 3, will likely be out of the #1 spot here in its second weekend. That won’t stop the movie from pulling in an additional $20-25m. It’s success is already ensured. The movie is nearing the $100m mark the first Paranormal Activity was able to achieve, not the second one, though. Still, it’s surprising we haven’t already gotten word from Paramount of Paranormal Activity 4: Toby’s Revenge. Like that damn demon needs revenge. All he does is hang around people’s houses, banging kitchen cabinets, and taking over Katie Featherston’s body. You ask me, we should be the ones taking revenge on Toby.

LITTLE OPENERS

If you were to tell me this time last year Roland Emmerich was opening a movie on only 200 screens, I would have first slapped you, then slapped your mother, then checked IMDB to see what the hell this movie was. Then I would have seen it was Anonymous, a period piece about controversy surrounding William Shakespeare, and I would have apologized to your mother. You? You get no apology. Anonymous was slated for a wide release, but Sony Pictures has toned it down, looking for a slow roll-out that will expand in the coming weeks. Of course, this means the film probably won’t be getting into the top 10 this weekend, nor will it be likely to even crack $1m on only 200 screens. But, hey, it’s a Roland Emmerich film. Those 200 screens are sure to be plastered with all kinds of world monuments exploding in fiery blasts of demon hell, right? I gotta stop talking about demons. Anonymous opens in select cities.

The Ultimate Disaster Movie Spectacular. Sounds like something Emmerich would direct. Check it out:

Also opening in limited release are Like Crazy opening in select cities, Janie Jones opening in select cities and on VOD, 13 opening in select cities, and The Double opening in select cities.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Puss in Boots – $50.2m NEW
  2. Paranormal Activity 3 – $25m (-52.2%)
  3. In Time – $17.4m NEW
  4. The Rum Diary – $11.5m NEW
  5. Footloose – $6.9m (-32.3%)
  6. Real Steel – $6.7m (-37.5%)
  7. The Three Musketeers – $3.7m (-55.9%)
  8. The Ides of March -$3m (-36.6%)
  9. Dolphin Tale – $2.9m (-30.5%)
  10. Moneyball – $2.6m (-33%)

With that we have a total box office of $129.9m, up again from last weekend’s boost in numbers. The nice little combo of Puss in Boots and Paranormal Activity 3, two films that drive towards completely different audiences (I think. I hope so.), are sure to give the whole box office the bump it needs to officially begin the Fall/Winter movie season. In Time and The Rum Diary are sure to help out, as well, and the returning films, some of them less than spectacular according to a lot of critical response, are holding on to some very good numbers in their third, fourth, or even fifth week in release. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch Rum Tum Rugger about four more times. Love that song.

We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.

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