Box Office: "Shrek" says goodbye with $71.3 million opening weekend
It may have been billed as the "final chapter," but it appears many moviegoers had already had enough of "Shrek." The fourth installment, "Shrek Forever After," opened with just $71.3 million this weekend, a major disappointment considering the pedigree of the animated franchise combined with higher 3-D ticket pries.
In comparison, the first "Shrek" opened to $42 million nine years ago. "Shrek 2" found a massive $108 million in 2004. The last installment, "Shrek the Third," had the biggest opening of all with $121 million in 2007. However, the third film was critical disappointment and didn't play as well with audiences. Combined with materials that didn't make "The Fourth" seem that different and "Shrek" fatigue in the media from the Broadway show, it may be time for the big green ogre to take a break.
Dropping to second place was "Iron Man 2." The blockbuster grossed $26.6 million for a new cume of $251.3 million. At this pace, "IM2" looks like it will match or barely surpass the original "Iron Man's" $318 million gross.
Third place went to "Robin Hood" which stole another $18.7 million from moviegoers. With $66 million in 10 days, "Hood" could eek out a $100 million gross if Universal can keep the theater count up over the next month or so.
"Letters to Juliet," which should have initially found a bigger audience, had a solid 33% drop for a second weekend take of $9.1 million in fourth. The Amanda Seyfriend romance has grossed $27 million so far and could optomistically hit $50 million if it's lucky.
Even though it generated substantial buzz from those who actually saw it, that was a small audience as "MacGruber" still bombed in 2,551 theaters with just $4.1 million over the three-day. This is one comedy that will probably find its fanbase on cable over the next few years.
Next weekend finds a battle to the death between "Sex and the City 2" and "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time."
Final weekend results are released on Monday.