An extra day of moviegoing this holiday weekend has only made one franchise's return even more disappointing than expected.
In something of a surprise, "Shrek Forever After" won the Memorial Day box office frame with $55.7 million. This gives the reportedly "final chapter" in the "Shrek" franchise $145.5 million to date. That's a far cry from "Shrek the Third" which had reached $217 million at this juncture three years ago with cheaper ticket prices and on less 3-D screens. At this point, "Forever After" should reach $225-250 million before "Toy Story 3" arrives to dominate the box office on June 18.
This weekend's expected winner, "Sex and the City 2," fell steeper than expected with just $37.1 for the four-day weekend a new five-day total of $51.4 million. That won't even match the original's $57 million debut which was achieved in just three days, not five. It's seems likely unkind reviews about the sequel diminished any chance "SATC2" had to expand beyond it's hardcore fanbase and a third installment is seriously in doubt.
Sneaking by the "SATC2" ladies for second place found Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer's "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" with only $37.8 million. The rumored $200 million budgeted adventure has to be a big disappointment for the Mouse House and proves Jake Gyllenhaal's transition to action star isn't an easy sell.
Next weekend's releases include "Get Him to the Greek," "Splice" and "Killers."
Final box office totals will be released on Tuesday.