The fourth film in the Shrek series took the box office crown in the fourth weekend of the 2010 summer movie season, but with a much smaller gross than anticipated. Meanwhile, the SNL curse continued as Universal's MacGruber crashed and burned on impact. Shrek Forever After took charge of the box office this weekend, debuting to $71.3M from 4,359 locations (which includes 194 IMAX and 2373 3D screens) for a per screen average of $16,345. The opening, while extremely good for most movies, is a big let down for the franchise.
Each film in the Shrek series had a higher opening weekend gross than the previous one (taking into account that Shrek 2 opened on a Wednesday). While Shrek Forever After wasn't expected to meet the heights of Shrek the Third, with the 3D and IMAX surcharges added in to a huge theater count, the $72M has to be seen as disappointing. As you can also see, the opening weekend percentage of the final total has been going up as well, as the grosses become more and more front loaded. With less-than-stellar reviews it is distinctly possible that Shrek Forever After may not make as much money as stablemate How To Train Your Dragon, which is currently at $211M and counting.
After two weeks in the top spot, Robert Downey, Jr. and Iron Man 2 took a step back into the second spot this weekend, falling 49% to an estimated $26.6M, bringing its cume to $251.3M. By comparison, the original Iron Man had grossed $223.1M by the end of its third weekend back in 2008. Third place belonged to fellow hero Robin Hood which fell 48% from last weekend to an estimated $18.7M, bringing its total to $66.1M. Look for a final gross in the $115-120M range.
We're now at fourth place with still no sighting of MacGruber... Taking up residence in the fourth spot was Summit Entertainment's Letters to Juliet, which took in an estimated $9.1M this weekend, a drop of only 33% from last weekend's opening. Its cume now stands at $27.4M and it looks to end its run in the $55-60M range. Fifth place finds fellow sophomore Just Wright which fell 49% from last weekend to an estimated $4.2M, bringing its total to $14.6M. Look for a final gross in the $25-30M range.Who is that I see trying to defuse a bomb with only seconds remaining? It's MacGruber! Oh no, he didn't make it! Crashing into sixth place this weekend, the Saturday Night Live sketch-turned-movie bombed at the box office, pulling in only $4.1M, according to estimates, from 2,551 screens for a per screen average of $1,607. The $4.1M opening is one of the worst openings of all time from a film with at least 2,500 screens. How bad was this opening? 1999's Chill Factor, starring that dynamic duo of Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Skeet Ulrich opened to $4.5M from 2,558 theaters.
Seventh place belonged to the film that just wouldn't quit, Date Night, which had the best hold in the top 10, dropping a slim 26% to an estimated $2.8M. Its total now stands at $90.6M. In eighth place was the horror remake A Nightmare on Elm Street which fell 51% to an estimated $2.3M, bringing its cume to $59.9M. It looks to end its run with a total nearly identical to 2009's remake du jour, Friday the 13th which finished with $65M.
DreamWorks Animation's second film in the top 10 ended up in 9th place this weekend as How to Train Your Dragon fell sharply with the latest animation offering taking most of its business. The dragon tale took in $1.85M this weekend, according to estimates, bringing its cume to a robust $210.9M.
Rounding out the top 10 was another new title to the charts, the Bollywood film Kites. Distributed by Reliance BIG Pictures, the crossover hit opened with $1M from 208 playdates, for a per screen average of $4,976.
The top ten films grossed $141.9M which was down 15.7% from last year when Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian opened in the top spot with $54.2M; and down 14.8% from 2008 when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opened at number one with $100.8M. However in both previous years, this weekend was part of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.-Did you see anything this weekend?