Nikki Finke at Deadline has some very early Friday box-office numbers that don’t look too favorable for yet another Universal release following Robin Hood last weekend, which fell behind Iron Man 2 in its opening frame and will do so again this weekend. But first to the top…
Dreamworks has another animated hit (as expected) with Shrek Forever After, the fourth and what I understand to be final, film in the Shrek storyline although there is the Puss in Boots movie due November 4, 2011. As for Shrek Forever After‘s numbers, it’s looking at $20.8 million for Friday and Finke has it pegged for an estimated $70 million for the weekend, which may prove a low estimate if the families come out in full force. As stated elsewhere, ticket prices are reaching as high as $20 per ticket for Shrek in 3D and the weekend box-office will certainly reflect that bump.
The other new wide release this week is Universal/Rogue’s “Saturday Night Live” spin-off MacGruber, which started off well on RottenTomatoes but has been slowly hammered down to a 57% rating. So critics warn folks away and audiences are either listening or weren’t interested in the first place as it has managed an estimated $1.6 million on Friday, which will cause it to struggle to reach a mere $4.5 million for the weekend. Ouch!
Personally I though MacGruber looked pretty good based on the one trailer I saw and this is despite the fact I think the “SNL” skit is awful. I still plan on seeing it once I get home from Cannes, but I guess my expectations have now been lowered.
One thing is for certain, Universal is having a hard time as of late. Of course, they will say MacGruber is a Rogue Pictures release, but in my mind that still falls under the Universal banner. So far this year, Universal related titles such as Green Zone, Repo Men, The Wolfman and Robin Hood have severely underperformed. Not much of a surprise to me considering the “C+” I gave Repo Men was the highest grade I awarded to any of those four films. However, I’ve seen the upcoming Russell Brand comedy, Get Him to the Greek and it’s solid. Also, the animated Despicable Me looks good as well, so hopefully the tide will turn for the U.
I have included Finke’s early estimates below and will update as time permits. Right now I am off to my final screening of the Cannes Film Festival and then hopefully a little time off for rest and relaxation.
- Shrek Forever After – $20.8 million
- Iron Man 2 – $7.5 million
- Robin Hood – $5.6 million
- Letters To Juliet – $3 million
- MacGruber – $1.6 million
- Just Wright – $1.3 million
- Date Night – $925,000
- A Nightmare on Elm Street – $765,000
- How to Train Your Dragon – $438,000
- Kites – $341,000