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Whisper Numbers: Tower Heist to steal the box office

After going through years of development hell, the heist comedy Tower Heist [TWRHS] has finally come together at seemingly the right time. Ben Stiller [BSTIL] and Eddie Murphy [EMURP] topline the PG-13 rated film about the blue-collar employees of a high-rise condo that band together to steal money from the rich penthouse resident who had swindled away their pension. The concept and sentiment should resonant with moviegoers in today’s economic. Stiller already has a proven track record at the box office, while Murphy returns to playing a character similar to his popular 48 Hrs and Beverly Hills Cop. Directed by Brett Ratner [BRATN] known for delivering crowd-pleasers, Tower Heist looks to have all the ingredients for a winning formula. Occupying 3367 theaters, Tower Heist could stake out about $30 million.

Even if the East Coast weather had not taken a bite out of its debut, Puss in Boots [PUSNB] would still have had a hard time cracking $40 million. The animated film gets the family market all to itself for another weekend to show there’s still life in the Shrek spin-off. Puss in Boots looks to hold around 60% for a sophomore session around $20 million.

After first going to White Castle and then escaped from Guantanamo, John Cho [JCHO] and Kal Penn [KPENN] are back for A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas [HAKU3]. Older but not necessarily wiser, the duo find themselves once again in marijuana-fueled R-rated hijinks, this time in 3D as shown to comedic effects in the trailers.   The previous installment Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanomo Bay debuted to $14.9 million in 2008. Since then, Neil Patrick Harris [NPHAR] has gotten even more popular and Warner Bros. has wisely marketed him as the third star. Opening against Tower Heist shouldn’t be a concern for the young male target audience. Blazing into 2875 theaters, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas could toke $16 million.

Halloween didn’t save Paranormal Activity 3 [PNAC3] from shedding 65% during its second weekend. The rate of decay should improve slightly for the horror sequel to scare up another $7.5 million.

The sci-fi thriller In Time [NTIME] proved to be a hard sell. With word of mouth mixed, In Time looks to run down 50% to $6 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.


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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, November 3, 2011 @ 04:34 PM 6978 views

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