None of the weekend's four new releases could knock 'Shrek Forever After' out of first.

Third Weekend at #1 for ‘Shrek Forever After’

on June 07, 2010 by Daniel Garris

As was widely expected, Paramount's Shrek Forever After topped the weekend box office for a third consecutive frame. The computer animated sequel from DreamWorks grossed $25.49 million, which was down 41 percent from the three-day portion of Memorial Day weekend. That represented the weekend's best percentage hold among wide releases as Shrek Forever After continues to hold up quite well in the weeks after its underwhelming opening weekend performance. However, Shrek Forever After will face much tougher competition for family audiences in the very near future, as the next two weeks will bring forth the arrivals of Sony's The Karate Kid and Disney's Toy Story 3. Shrek Forever After has grossed $183.23 million through 17 days, placing it 28 percent behind the pace of 2007's Shrek the Third.

None of this weekend's four wide releases were able to break out. Leading the way among those films was Get Him to the Greek, which opened in second with $17.57 million. The R-rated comedy from Universal starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand opened towards the lower end of pre-release expectations. Get Him to the Greek earned the weekend's strongest per-location average among wide releases with a mark of $6,515. That could be a positive sign for the film's holding power going forward. Get Him to the Greek opened nearly on par with the $17.73 million debut of 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Lionsgate's Killers followed closely behind with a third place debut of $15.84 million. The action comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl opened right in line with expectations. However, the film's start was still underwhelming when considering the box office histories of Kutcher and Heigl, as well as the film's $75 million production budget. Killers opened 43 percent weaker than the $27.61 million start of last summer's The Ugly Truth, which also starred Heigl and was also directed by Robert Luketic.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time fell to fourth with $14.02 million. Disney's expensive video game adaptation was down 53 percent from last weekend's three-day frame. That represented a fairly average second weekend decline for a high-profile Memorial Day weekend release. Prince of Persia has grossed a disappointing $59.62 million in its first ten days domestically. Fortunately, the film continues to perform much stronger internationally, where it grossed $37.6 million this weekend. That brings the film's 17-day international total to $156.4 million and its worldwide cume to $216.0 million.

Sex and the City 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $12.34 million. The high-profile sequel from Warner Bros. was down 60 percent from last weekend. Like 2008's Sex and the City before it, Sex and the City 2 experienced a large second weekend decline, even after last weekend's debut was spread out over five days. The 11-day gross for Sex and the City 2 stands at $73.13 million, placing it a discouraging 28 percent behind the pace of Sex and the City.

However, like Prince of Persia, Sex and the City 2 is performing stronger internationally. The film was number one at the international box office this weekend with $44.0 million from 50 markets. Key debuts for the film included $7.6 million in Australia, $3.7 million in France, $3.5 million in Russia and $3.0 million in Japan. Second weekend grosses included $3.6 million in the United Kingdom and $3.5 million in Germany. The international total for Sex and the City 2 stands at $89.0 million.

Back on the domestic front, Fox's Marmaduke opened in sixth with just $11.60 million. At the end of the day Marmaduke was unable to draw in family audiences with a release date right in between Shrek Forever After and Toy Story 3. And though it was released in 3,213 locations, Marmaduke also suffered from receiving a lackluster advertising campaign for a wide release of that magnitude. Marmaduke opened well below the $21.73 million start of 2004's Garfield and instead opened on par with the $11.59 million start of 2007's Underdog.

The weekend's weakest wide release was Splice. The R-rated sci-fi horror film from Warner Bros. opened all the way down in eighth place with $7.39 million. Though Splice generated respectable online buzz last week, audiences ultimately decided to pass and in turn the film opened on the low end of expectations.

Tags: Splice, Marmaduke, Sex and the City 2, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Killers, Get Him to the Greek, Shrek Forever After

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