Warner's Sex and the City 2 got a head start on the upcoming holiday weekend with a first place debut of $14.21 million on Thursday. While that was well below the $26.77 million opening day registered by 2008's Sex and the City, a softer opening day was to be expected for the sequel given that Sex and the City opened on a Friday.
Sex and the City 2 opened 6 percent stronger than Terminator Salvation, which was released by Warner Bros. last year on the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend (Terminator Salvation grossed $13.37 million on that Thursday and went on to gross $65.32 million in its first five days). Sex and the City 2 will likely experience a significantly stronger Friday jump than Terminator Salvation did, but should also experience larger daily declines from Saturday through Monday. That means Sex and the City 2 could be looking at a five-day start in the area of $64 million to $70 million, though today's performance could still alter that range a bit one way or the other.
Though it fell to second place, Paramount's Shrek Forever After held up very nicely with $4.44 million. That was up a very healthy 9 percent from Wednesday and is a very good sign for the film heading into the holiday weekend. In comparison, 2007's Shrek the Third experienced a 2 percent increase on its first Thursday. Shrek Forever After grossed $89.75 million in its first week of release. While that was well below expectations, the film is also showing early signs of being able to hold up significantly better than Shrek the Third. Shrek Forever After is currently running 38 percent behind the pace of Shrek the Third, but Thursday's gross was 24 percent behind the respective Thursday gross of Shrek the Third.
Fellow Paramount release Iron Man 2 was also up 9 percent over Wednesday. The blockbuster sequel grossed $1.84 million, which was down a respectable 39 percent from last Wednesday. Most wide releases held up well on Thursday, as the opening day performance of Sex and the City 2 seems to have had very little effect on the larger holdovers in the marketplace. Iron Man 2 has grossed $258.58 million in three weeks. That places the film 11 percent behind the pace of 2007's Spider-Man 3 and 11 percent ahead of 2008's Iron Man.
Universal's Robin Hood fell one spot to finish in fourth on Thursday. The big-budget film from director Ridley Scott grossed $1.54 million, which was up 4 percent from Wednesday and down 35 percent from last Thursday. Robin Hood has grossed $72.72 million in two weeks of release and looks to hold up well over the holiday weekend.
Letters to Juliet rounded out the day's top five with $0.81 million. The Summit release was up 1 percent from Wednesday and down only 26 percent from last Thursday. That represented another very good hold for the film, especially given the competition from Sex and the City 2. Yesterday saw Letters to Juliet reach the $30 million mark.