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Universal’s “Tower Heist” stole first last night earning $8.1 million at the domestic B.O.

During this frame last year, Warner Bros.’ “Due Date” bowed to $32.7 million, business Uni hopes to replicate with their ensemble laffer, but last year repped a more robust B.O. (this frame in 2010 holds the record for November kickoff weekends). Early predictions pegged “Tower Heist” to land near $30 million, but its Friday figure suggests something lower in the mid-$20 million range.

Right on the caper’s tail, DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s “Puss in Boots” took second with $7.8 million. Insiders are anticipating a better-than-usual 35% drop from last weekend, which will put it within scratching distance of “Tower Heist” in the low-$20 millions.

Warner Bros.’ kicked off the holiday season early with “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” which grossed $5.4 million Stateside last night. Predictions for the threequel’s performance vary, but most B.O. observers say it will land in the mid- or high-teens this weekend.

Two young adult-skewing holdovers rounded out last night’s tops. Par’s “Paranormal Activity 3” earned $2.9 million in its third frame, dropping 55% for a domestic cume of $89.7 million, while Twentieth Century Fox’s “In Time” made $2.5 million.