Box Office: Shrek Reigns Yet Again

Shrek Box Office

Even with four new contenders all vying for the top spot, it came as no surprise when Shrek Forever After was, yet again, announced as the number one film of the weekend. Princes from Persia and Cougars from the City couldn’t take him down, so no one was expecting talking dogs, annoying killers, genetic mutations, or even British rock stars to get the job done either.

First comes Shrek, though.  With its third weekend on top of the charts, Shrek Forever After has done something the franchise hasn’t been able to do since its inception.  The first Shrek and Shrek the Third only had one weekend each in the number one spot, while Shrek 2 had two weeks at the top of the charts.  It’s not so much that Shrek Forever After is pulling in epic numbers, but it hasn’t been faced with the challenges the first, three films faced in their second or third weekends.  The first films in the Shrek franchise were knocked out of the number one spot by Pearl Harbor, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, respectively.  Those three films were all major Summer movies that brought in tons of cash for their respective studios, and 2010 hasn’t had the level of openings we’ve come to be accustomed to during these tent pole months.

A quarter into the Summer movie season we’ve only had two absolute smashes so far.  It almost seems as if the studios are saving their big cards for later in the Summer or a different year altogether.  Granted, Get Him to the Greek and Killers had okay openings this weekend.  With their weekend numbers, they more than likely would have been in the number one spot had they been released any other time of the year.  But, for every Get Him to the Greek, we have a Splice, a release that doesn’t even break past the $10-million mark.  It’s a shame, too, since the positive reviews and deserved buzz about these two films should have translated into bigger numbers this weekend.

While these two films with positive reviews had completely different opening weekends, two films with overly negative reviews had the same type of distance between them.  Killers proved to be somewhat critic proof, as it made decent money this weekend even if it was far from being either of its two leads’ biggest hit.  Of course, judging from the film’s $75-million budget, it doesn’t seem likely it will break even when all is said and done.

The same goes for Marmaduke, which seems to be the exception to the rule when it comes to talking animal movies.   Sure, it got into the double digits, but don’t expect Owen Wilson to be called back into the studio any time soon to provide a voice for the follow-up.

Everything else this weekend seemed to drop off a little more than expected.  Iron Man 2 is sure to break past $300 million at some point in the weeks ahead, even if it doesn’t seem likely to beat out Alice in Wonderland as the biggest film of 2010.  I’m not sure if anything released between now and the end of the year can catch up to that film’s success.  Robin Hood will likely get past the $100-million point, though that isn’t quite what the people behind that film were looking towards.  It seems we can officially dub this film, along with Prince of Persia, as the first bombs of the season.

Here is how the weekend box-office shaped up:

  1. Shrek Forever After – $25.3m (-41.6%) $183m total
  2. Get Him to the Greek – $17.4m NEW
  3. Killers – $16.1m NEW
  4. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – $13.9m (-53.8%) $59.4m total
  5. Sex and the City 2 – $12.6m (-59.2%) $73.4m total
  6. Marmaduke – $11.3m NEW
  7. Iron Man 2 – $7.7m (-52.7%) $291.2m total
  8. Splice – $7.4m NEW
  9. Robin Hood – $5.1m (-50.7%) $94.2m total
  10. Letters to Juliet – $3m (-48.6%) $43.3m total

This weekend’s $119.8 million is a much larger drop from the previous weekend than was anticipated, down 16.4% from last weekend’s $143.4 million take.  In fact, this past weekend is the lowest weekend take since the Summer movie season began.  It’s also down 23.9% from the same weekend last year when The Hangover and Up helped bring $157.5 million to the top ten.

Next weekend doesn’t seem like it’s going to be one for the record books, either, though the Shrek dynasty may be nearing its end.  The Karate Kid and The A-Team will likely be duking it out for the number one spot.  Between you and me, I saw Rampage Jackson’s last fight, and I think Jackie Chan can take him.  Jaden Smith may even be able to get a few licks in.

We’ll be back on Thursday to run through our predictions.

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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