DreamWorks Animation shares rise on strong box office for 'Puss in Boots'
The DreamWorks film about a feline outlaw voiced by Antonio Banderas pulled in a surprisingly strong $33 million over the weekend, with ticket sales slipping a mere 3% compared with last week. Movies usually drop substantially more in their second weekend, suggesting that "Puss in Boots" could have more staying power than was initially anticipated.
Investors responded by pushing up the company's shares to $19.47. The gain was more than enough to make up for the loss last week when Wall Street responded coolly to the lower-than-anticipated box-office opening of "Puss in Boots.'"
The spinoff of the studio's hit "Shrek" films generated $34.1 million in ticket sales during its first week. That was well below the $40 million to $45 million that most media analysts were expecting. Studio executives had attributed part of the lackluster opening to poor weather in the Northeast and the World Series.
The strong second-week performance, however, suggests "Puss in Boots" is benefiting from positive word of mouth. The film has already collected $75.5 million in North America.
"This is a major comeback for the movie after a disappointing opening weekend,'' said James Marsh, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co. "People probably jumped the gun in terms of writing this one off. It's likely that it will continue to play well."
DreamWorks worldwide marketing chief Anne Globe told The Times today: "We always had a two-weekend launch strategy for 'Puss in Boots.' To have this strong of a hold is pretty unprecedented, and it's a testament to how much audiences loved the movie."
-- Richard Verrier
Photo: title character in "Puss in Boots." Credit: DreamWorks Animation