By Grady Smith
Updated October 29, 2011 at 04:45 PM EDT
Credit: Dreamworks Animation LLC
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Dreamworks Animation’s Shrek-spinoff Puss in Boots got off to a decent start at the box office on Friday, scratching up the competition and topping the chart with an estimated $9.6 million.

That opening number puts Puss well behind other Dreamworks pictures like Kung Fu Panda 2, which started with $13.1 million on its way to a $47.7 million weekend, and How To Train Your Dragon, which earned $12.1 million on Friday and scored $43.7 million in its opening frame. If Puss in Boots can score a similar 3.5 weekend multiplier (which may be difficult with a giant snowstorm hitting the Northeast), it could pull in $34 million this weekend, and while that is an impressive-sounding number, we must remember that Puss in Boots came with a hefty $130 million pricetag.

In second, last weekend’s chart topper, Paranormal Activity 3, dropped by a scary 75 percent to $6.5 million on Friday, but given how inflated its opening day was last week, that drop should level out to about 60 percent over the rest of the weekend — pretty standard for a horror sequel. Paranormal Activity 3 may have earned about $20 million by Sunday’s end, which would lift its total to $82 million.

Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried’s psychological thriller In Time started off in third place with $4.3 million, which is well below the $6.8 million that Timberlake’s last film, Friends With Benefits, earned on opening day. The $40 million film is looking at a lackluster $13 million frame.

Speaking of lackluster, Johnny Depp’s latest, The Rum Diary, earned only $1.9 million yesterday. Depp’s $50 million vehicle may begin with just $5.5 million. Someone get that guy a drink! Close behind in fifth, Footloose grossed another $1.8 million, and it could be headed to a $6 million weekend, which would bring its cume to just under $40 million.

The weekend’s other new opener, Anonymous, grossed $315,000 out of 265 theaters. The Shakespeare speculation piece is looking at a $1 million weekend. Maybe Sony shouldn’t have gone with a platform release strategy for this one….

Twitter: @EWGradySmith


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