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In an admirable but ultimately disappointing finish, the supposed final film in the “Shrek” franchise, debuted at number one with $70.8 million, representing a 40 percent lower opening than Shrek the Third which bowed to $121.6 million in 2007. With a per-theater average of $16,251, Mike Myers and gang will need solid legs to best another leggy DreamWorks production, How to Train Your Dragon.
The debut of Shrek Forever After was expected to be lower than its two immediate predecessors due to franchise fatigue and the less than warm reception of Shrek the Third, but with increased ticket prices and 3-D to boost the gross, this may actually be the final chapter after all.
Thanks to the opening of the new kids' flick, two-week champ Iron Man 2 slipped to second with $26.4 million, representing a drop of 49 percent. After two weeks of steep drops, the superhero sequel should begin to level off throughout the summer. The domestic tally now stands at $251 million.
The Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe collaboration Robin Hood saw a so-so drop of 48 percent to $18.8 million bringing its two week total to $66.6 million. The pricey period pic should be able to slip by the $100 million mark by the end of its run.
Once again, romantic comedies Letters to Juliet and Just Wright occupied the fourth and fifth slots side by side, although one fared far better. The Summit Entertainment picture Letters to Juliet saw a slim drop of 34 percent for a $9.0 million weekend and a $27 million total. In the weeks to come, the well-received chick flick should become one of the new production company’s most successful films outside of the “Twilight” franchise. Just Wright saw its audience erode much more quickly, falling 48 percent for a sum of $14.7 million.
And where might you ask is new release MacGruber? The Saturday Night Live adaptation failed to crack the top five, debuting to a measly $4.0 million and $1,585 average. This makes the spoof the ninth worst opening for a film in more than 2,500 theaters, hardly the desired result in what was to be a revival of the brand. The lame commercials, while frequent, failed to excite audiences and the R rating kept those who may have been enticed by the juvenile premise away. The only saving grace for Universal is that MacGruber carried a price-tag of under $10 million and should make around that during its full run and much more on DVD.
In a surprise tenth place finish, Bollywood/Hollywood production Kites flew away with $958,673 for a solid $4,609 average in just 208 theaters.
Overall the box office was down 15.7 percent from last year when Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian opened with $54.2 million. However, that launch was over the Memorial Day weekend.