Despite considerably warm reviews from critics and fans alike, spinoff of the incredibly successful Shrek series Puss in Boots reaches its second week with very little accomplished. True, families were quite busy with Halloween last week, and perhaps a few with the World Series, but ultimately the film simply underperformed.

It is very likely that the lackluster fourth film in the Shrek franchise turned away potential viewers who understandably predicted Banderas’ Zorro reference incapable of doing anything but even further deteriorating the series. However, the genuinely satisfied reception was a surprise, and word of mouth changing viewers’ minds accounts for the continued success of the animated feature.

The latest crime-comedy from Brett Ratner likewise fumbled aimlessly on its opening day, with viewers completely unsure of whether or not the familiar faces were actually going to present something worth watching again. The disappointing Little Fockers and an all-around different kind of Ben Stiller in (rather well-performed) Greenberg turned a great deal of fans away from the actor last year.

Then, all Shrek aside, Eddie Murphy’s Imagine That, Meet Dave, and Norbit were all bombs. Especially that last one. I’d like to personally apologize for all the critics who had to write reviews for it. So, there’s no indication that Tower Heist would be any kind of comeback except that Murphy used to deliver funny films. He can’t help his scripts are sub-par. Oh, except for Norbit. He wrote that one.

In fact, Tower Heist is mostly a collection of comics who all in some way need a comeback. I believe there are plenty of fans who’d like to see that happen—and generally the film has been given mixed reviews, so far. It’s plot is gravely similar to Fun With Dick and Jane, what with a CEO exploiting his employees and their subsequent attempts to steal money from him. However, we’ve heard every story a million times. It’s how you execute it.

Paranormal Activity 3 has sunk further in the box office, and I’m surprised it’s lived at all after its opening weekend. The final fifteen minutes will scar you for life. You won’t believe you could actually reach that new level of disappointment. The third in the franchise stretches outside the genre to witches.

Although, up until that anti-climax, it was indeed the best of the Paranormal Activity films yet, so those that could live with the fact that it ended like Nicholas Cage’s Wicker Man no less allowed the film to sustain its prosperity. And Real Steel has sunk as well: its story belongs in The Twilight Zone (episode Steel), not in cinema.

The Son of No One? No really, I’m asking—what is it? I wasn’t even aware of its existence until it opened, and Channing Tatum needs a reality check. No. No, you’re not an actor. Meanwhile, Harold and Kumar open with the next best rating since the original, but the style of comedy is really aimed at a specific kind of audience. Cult series? Maybe.

Jack and Jill comes out next week. I know, we all try to pretend it’s not happening, but it’s my job. Let’s all write to Adam Sandler and explain he doesn’t want to pigeonhole himself with the likes of Eddie Murphy’s career. Bit late, though.

Its exact opposite, Melancholia also opens this week. Lars Von Trier may have said some very disconcerting things about “understanding” Hitler, but there’s no denying his cinematic flair for aesthetic boldness and execution. It’s been highly regarded in critics’ circles, and since the financial success of truly powerful dramatic films near the end of summer we can expect it to perform at least decently.

Opening on Wednesday is J. Edgar, Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial installment including ace actors and a provocative main character. Avoiding the weekend is the most obvious statement Eastwood could provide concerning the film.

It’s not meant to be your popcorn entertainment for the weekend, or to make money. It’s meant to be of substance, and considering the many examples of Eastwood’s cinematic prowess, I for one am very eager for its release.

Immortals, unfortunately, has casted Mickey Rourke. I don’t know why he’s credited as an actor on IMDb. And the genre has been so worn thin, it’s almost impossible to discern one from the next, The Eagle to Immortals to Clash of the Titans—it’s all blurred together, and equally un-interesting by now.

However, future Superman Henry Cavill stars in it, and will draw many, many superman fans anxious to get a taste for him in the hero’s outfit. This film will take the box office this weekend, no competition, while Tower Heist and Puss in Boots will fight for second and third place.

Rank

Title

Weekend

Gross

Weeks

1

  Puss in Boots (2011)

$33M

$75.5M

2

2

  Tower Heist (2011)

$25.1M

$25.1M

1

3

  A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)

$13.1M

$13.1M

1

4

  Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

$8.53M

$95.3M

3

5

  In Time (2011)

$7.7M

$24.2M

2

6

  Footloose (2011)

$4.55M

$44.8M

4

7

  Real Steel (2011)

$3.41M

$78.8M

5

8

  The Rum Diary (2011)

$2.99M

$10.4M

2

9

  The Ides of March (2011)

$2M

$36.8M

5

10

  Moneyball (2011)

$1.9M

$70.3M

7