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Shrek Sets Records for Animated Movie

May 21st, 2007

There was another massive opening over the weekend, something we'll have to get used to this summer, but not all reports are glowing. The second $100 million opening of the month helped push the overall box office up, way up, to $182 million, which is 70% higher than last weekend. However impressive these weekly fluctuations may seem, it is the year-to-year increase of 11% that is more important. The other number of note is 15%, which is how much higher this summer is over the record-setting pace of 2004. That summer not only gave us Shrek 2, but also Spider-Man 2 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Those three movies combined for more than $1 billion, a mark this summer's top three films should be able to top.

Shrek the Third managed to finish in the high end of expectations opening with $121.6 million, which was a record for an animated film, breaking the $108.0 million brought in by Shrek 2. The film also placed very highly on the all-time charts for biggest weekend, biggest single day, etc. On the other hand, the film was not as fortunate with the critics, scoring a surprisingly low 43% positive rating. There were many reasons for this, but the main one was the lack of originality; after seeing the first two installments, there's little here that seems fresh. If audiences react the same way, which we will figure out after next weekend, it could really impact the film's legs and its long-term potential. Having a multiplier as high as Shrek 2 seems out of the question, and so does that film's final tally of $436.7 million. On the other hand, $400 million isn't yet out of the question, but it does have a tough road ahead of it wants to reach that milestone.

Spider-man 3 hit expectations perfectly with $29.0 million for a total of $282.4 million. With Memorial Day long weekend starting on Friday, this film should have little trouble reaching $300 million by this time next weekend, even with the added competition. On the down side, that will be the last major milestone the film reaches, barring something truly strange. Domestically, this is a weaker than expected result, but surprisingly strong international numbers have the film ahead of expectations worldwide and the movie is well on its way to profitability, even if the rumored $500 million total price tag is accurate.

Way, way, way back in third place was 28 Weeks Later, which also matched predictions nearly perfectly $5.5 million. The film has now earned $18.9 million after 10 days in release, but it is hard to call that anything more than a disappointment.

The same can be said of Georgia Rule, only more so. Over the weekend, the film barely managed fourth place with $3.7 million and its total of $12.9 million is well below even lowered expectations. Given the film's per theater average, I can see a lot of theater owners yanking the movie come Friday, or at the very least, cutting back on the number of showings.

Disturbia finished in fifth place, also with $3.7 million, and now has $71.4 million during its run. Not only did the film earn almost identical numbers to Georgia Rule, its per theater average was also neck-and-neck. However, given the economics of the movie industry, it could see a softer theater count loss and that could help it remain in the top five for yet another week.

Meanwhile, Waitress wasn't quite able to reach the top ten, placing 12th with $1,081,022. However, this was a razor thin margin behind 10th place Blades of Glory's $1,091,982. It is safe to say the film will continue to perform well at the box office and has already earned at least some measure of mainstream success.

Moving onto the sophomore class, Delta Farce was the best of the two remaining members, down just under 46% to $1.9 million for the weekend and $6.1 million over all. The Ex fell nearly 50% for $704,000 over the weekend and $2.6 million after two. Both films have sub-$1,000 per theater averages and will likely disappear on Friday.


Filed under: Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, Disturbia, Waitress, Georgia Rule, Delta Farce, The Ex, 28 Weeks Later