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Are we sure it’s summer? Because the box office certainly looks like the doldrums of the early year dumping grounds, which ironically performed better than what is supposed to be the blockbuster season. Week after week we have seen films underperform and fail to reach profitability or recoup their massive budgets. Prince of Persia, Sex and the City 2, Robin Hood, even Iron Man 2 all underperformed compared to expectations. When looking at the worldwide box office, only four of the top ten are summer releases.
Dreamworks’ Shrek Forever After held onto the number one spot in its third weekend pummelling four new releases which debuted ranging from solid to ho-hum. Everyone’s favourite ogre gobbled up $25.5 million sending its cume to $183.2 million with its worldwide tally standing at $251.6 million. The fourth “Shrek” film should find its way to around $250 million domestically making it the lowest grossing of the series.
Getting him to second place, raunchy comedy Get Him to the Greek ran away with $17.6 million virtually matching the $17.7 million debut of its inspiration, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Sporting the best per-theater average in the top ten with $6,515 and with one of the lowest budgets so far for a summer debut, this puts another nail in the coffin for sub-par, big-budget summer “entertainment.”
Killers was far from deadly debuting in third with $15.8 million. Starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl, the debut was a far cry from the $50.3 million debut of another spy film in 2005, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and even below the $20.7 million launch of The Bounty Hunter earlier this year.
Sex and the City 2 fared even worse plummeting 60 percent to $12.3 million. “Sex 2” has taken in $73.1 since its Memorial Day debut and also may fall short of the century mark.
While it may have longevity on the page, Marmaduke proved far less intimidating on the big screen bolting off with only $11.6 million. The iconic pooch’s debut was quite close to the 2007 debut of Underdog but fared far worse than almost every other talking dog movie of the last decade.
The fourth and final debuting film Splice scared up $7.4 million for an eight place finish. Starring Sarah Polley and Adrian Brody this genetic based thriller fared like most fright flicks debuting in the summer months. The launch was still a disappointment as Splice received some of the best reviews for a horror movie all year.
Overall, the top ten movies grossed $120 million which was down a steep 24 percent when The Hangover saw a stellar debut with $45 million.