Final Shrek Disappoints with $71.3M Opening


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The second big sequel of the summer of ’10 became one of the first major disappointments as the computer-animated Shrek Forever After (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) brought in an estimated $71.2 million its opening weekend in 4,359 theaters. That amount normally wouldn’t be disastrous, being the fourth-highest opening for an animated movie ever and putting it in the realm of some of Pixar’s bigger openings, but following the $100 million plus openings of the previous two “Shrek” movies, it’s fairly obvious that DreamWorks Animation may have been better off ending the series one movie earlier. The fourth movie wasn’t helped as hoped by being the first movie released in 3D, playing in a record 4,000 3D theaters and 184 IMAX 3D venues at higher ticket prices. At the same time, the final “Shrek” took in another $26 million internationally from the 2,551 locations in nine countries where it opened day-and-date. $20 million of that was made in Russia alone, making it the biggest opening ever for that country.

Dropping to second place, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, added another $26.6 million to bring its total gross to $251.2 million after three weeks. Despite opening better than Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, it still has a long ways to go if it wants to pass it to become the top grossing movie of the year domestically. (Alice in Wonderland is close to reaching a billion dollars worldwide before its release on DVD next week, and it’s currently the #6 highest grossing film worldwide.)

Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood (Universal), starring Russell Crowe, dropped to third place with $18.7 million, down roughly 48%, to bring its total to $66 million after ten days. The film narrowly won over “Shrek” in the overseas market with $30 million for the weekend as Europe was hit by an uncharacteristic heat wave that kept people away from theaters.

The Amanda Seyfried romantic drama Letters to Juliet (Summit) had a strong second weekend dropping one spot to fourth with $9.1 million, off just 33% from its opening week, with $27.4 million grossed so far.

In fifth place, Queen Latifah’s romantic comedy Just Wright (Fox Searchlight) added $4.2 million to its take of $14.3 million.

The “Saturday Night Live” character MacGruber (Rogue/Universal) becomes the first absolutely horrifying bomb of the summer season, opening in sixth place with $4.1 million in 2,551 theaters, a disastrous average of under $2k per site. That’s the weakest opening for a movie based on an “SNL” sketch, and it’s not likely to get much further than the last attempt, 2000’s The Ladies Man, which grossed just $13.6 million.

The Steve Carell-Tina Fey comedy Date Night (20th Century Fox) held seventh place for a second weekend with $2.8 million and an impressive take of over $90 million to date.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (New Line/WB) and DreamWorks Animation’s other movie How to Train Your Dragon (Paramount), both took big hits to take eighth and ninth place with $2.2 and $1.8 million, respectively.

Rounding out the Top 10 was the Bollywood movie Kites, which opened with just under a million dollars in 208 venues. A shorter edit of the movie by Brett Ratner called Kites: The Remix will open on Friday, May 28.

Scoring the highest per-theater average for the weekend was the limited release Solitary Man (Anchor Bay), starring Michael Douglas, which brought in $89 thousand in just four theaters in New York and L.A.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.