Weekend US box office: Shrek Forever After is down, not out

News Ron Hogan 24 May 2010 - 08:15

Shrek Forever After opens with lots of money, but plenty of disappointment. And MacGruber sinks without much trace at all...

The story this week isn't at the top of the box office. It's actually at the bottom. Sneaking into tenth place this weekend at the box office was the movie Kites, which grossed $1.037 million on 208 screens. What's so notable about Kites? Well, it's the first Bollywood film to crack the top ten at the US box office, that's what! (Well, it might not be, but from what I can tell, it's the first.)

Shrek Forever After, (reviewed here) as expected, romped home with the top box office number this weekend, with a paltry (by Shrek openings) $71.250 million, making it by far the worst opening weekend for a Shrek sequel, despite the increased earnings from 3D screens and generally higher ticket prices.

It's weird to consider that a movie can be disappointing and still make a metric ton of money, but this is Shrek we're talking about. Shrek numbers aren't like normal movie numbers. Still, compared to the opening weekend of How To Train Your Dragon (ninth place this week, $1.85 million), Shrek's bow is enormous. Date Night, by Shrek Forever After scribe Josh Klausner, picked up $2.8 million, good for seventh place.

The weekend's other new release didn't even manage to crack the top five. MacGruber (reviewed here), the latest in Saturday Night Live's series of disappointing films, has proven to be a dud with audiences, landing in sixth place this weekend, thanks to a box office total of 4.1 million bucks. Fortunately for Universal, MacGruber was dirt cheap to make, so the film will break even and might actually make some cash on the back end via DVD sales and rentals. MacGruber is the kind of movie that'll play endlessly on cable, despite not being very good.

Iron Man 2 falls to second place, finally. The movie picked up another $26.6 million over the weekend, and broke $250 million in the process. Not too shabby, Iron Man! To be three weeks old and to have substantially outgrossed fellow $200 million epic Robin Hood (third place, $18.7 million, $66 million overall) is quite an achievement.

Falling in fourth and fifth places, respectively, are Letters To Juliet and Just Wright. Letters To Juliet continues to significantly outperform Just Wright, in spite of Queen Latifah's star power. Juliet's fourth place finish was thanks to $9.1 million over the weekend, while Just Wright managed only $4.225 million (albeit in about 1,100 less theaters).

Rounding out the top ten, or at least the remaining undiscussed movie, is eighth place A Nightmare On Elm Street. The movie picked up $2.285 million over the weekend, and is just barely under $60 million for its month-long run at the box office. Not bad, considering it's yet another horror remake from the 80s, but it doesn't seem like the kind of bank roll you use to restart a franchise. Maybe a new adventure for Freddy is in order (or another crossover movie, perhaps).

Coming out next weekend is a weird pairing of movies. There's a big budget videogame adaptation, Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and a bunch of computer effects. The other movie coming out, and the movie destined to top the box office, is Sex And The City 2, featuring a bunch of special effects spackling together the faces of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, et al.

I figure that particular flick will scoop up another $200 million and keep the fearsome foursome of forty-and-fifty-something fashonistas doing Sex And The City movies until they're well past retirement age.

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