Hollywood often goes to the well with franchises one time too many and that appears to be the case with the “Shrek.’ With little new competition opening against it, “Shrek Forever After” found just $20.7 million on Friday for what should be a $70-75 million weekend. Hardly, what DreamWorks Animation or its stockholders were hoping for.
In comparison, the first “Shrek” opened to $42 million weekend nine years ago. “Shrek 2” found a massive $108 million in 2004. The last installment, “Shrek the Third,” had the biggest opening of all with $121 million in 2007. However, the third film was critical disappointment and didn’t play as well with audiences. Combined with materials that didn’t make “Forever After” seem that different and “Shrek” fatigue in the media from the Broadway show and more, it may be time for the big green ogre to take a long break.
Dropping to second place was “Iron Man 2.” The blockbuster grossed $7.5 million on its third Friday for an estimated weekend take of $25-28 million. At this pace, “IM2” looks like it will match or barely surpass the original “Iron Man’s” $318 million gross.
Third place went to “Robin Hood” which stole another $5.6 million from moviegoers. With $53.4 million in 8 days, “Hood” could eek out a $100 million gross if Universal can keep the theater count up over the next month or so.
The perplexing “Letters to Juliet,” which should have opened stronger,” had an OK 40% drop for $3 million on Friday. The Amanda Seyfriend romance could make $10 million over the 3-day.
Fifth place went to the underrated “MacGruber” which bombed in 2,551 theaters with just $1.6 million and a possible weekend gross of $4-5 million. This is one comedy that will probably find its fanbase on cable over the next few years.
Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.