Universal's debuting "Tower Heist," starring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller, should rob domestic audiences of between $25 million and $30 million this weekend.
Directed by Brett Ratner, who helmed the "Rush Hour" franchise, the action comedy features an all-star cast and should attract folks in the mood for some summer-style PG-13 fun.
Paramount/Dreamworks' "Puss in Boots" in 3-D had a solid $34 million debut last weekend and has maintained its first-place status in the midweek derby. A modest second-weekend drop is likely to give the swashbuckling feline a second-place finish in the low $20 million range. The film should cross the $60 million mark by Sunday night.
"A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas," the first holiday-themed movie of the season, should be warmly received by the college crowd at around $15 million. This is the third film in the franchise and features John Cho and Kal Penn in the title roles, and Neil Patrick Harris once again playing a fictionalized version of himself.
Fox's sci-fi thriller "In Time" debuted in third place last weekend but has been holding steady in second place midweek and should take in another $7 million to $8 million this weekend for a fourth-place finish.
"Paranormal Activity 3" will round out the top 5 with about $6 million to $7 million in its third weekend of release. Despite a steep second-weekend drop, the low-budget horror phenomenon is a huge profit center for Paramount and will have earned more than $90 million in total domestic receipts by Sunday night.
Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and provides box office analysis for The Associated Press.