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Shrek the Third to open in 4,122 Theaters

May 17th, 2007

Shrek the Third will open in 4,122 theaters according to Paramount/Dreamworks. That's a huge opening by any standards (in fact, it's 6th on the all-time list), but over 100 theaters less than Spider-Man 3's opening tally two weeks ago. It's still enough to guarantee a huge opening, but prospects for a new record are receding.

Spider-Man 3, meanwhile, will expand even further this weekend, to 4,324 venues, the widest a movie will have played in movie history. That won't be enough to prevent another sizable fall in its take at the box office, but emphasizes how fierce the competition is at the moment. Speaking of which, Buena Vista have announced an estimate of 4,000 theaters for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest when it opens next weekend.

With all of these gigantic movies playing, one record that seems guaranteed to fall either this weekend or next is the biggest overall weekend at the box office.

- Weekend theater counts