This was a pretty tepid weekend at the box office, topped by a sequel that didn’t meet expectations and a big Hollywood comedy that quite literally bombed.
Read on for details and the weekend Top 10!
‘Shrek Forever After,’ the fourth and supposedly final chapter in the neverending and rarely-engaging animated fairy tale franchise, topped the box office with $71.2 million. While this is admittedly impressive, it’s less so when you take into consideration the media onslaught that has accompanied the movie (incessant commercials, McDonald’s tie-ins, etc.), the fact that it’s playing in 3-D in many theaters (which can bump the ticket prices to nearly $20), and that this is the lowest opening of all the ‘Shrek’ movies. (The first film was released way back in 2001.) So, yes, it made a lot of money, and yes it was #1. But you know, it’s not all that impressive and will surely cement DreamWorks’ decision that this will be the last ‘Shrek’ entry ever. (Although, as I said last week, there is that ‘Puss in Boots’ movie out next year.) I think I speak for everyone when I say: good riddance.
Then there’s ‘MacGruber,’ the only other big movie that opened this weekend. The action comedy, based on the ‘Saturday Night Live’ micro-short that isn’t a whole lot more than a ‘MacGuyver’ spoof, came in disastrously at the 6th spot in the Top 10, making only $4.1 million. This is the first film based on a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit since 2000’s unfunny ‘The Ladies Man.’ (Don’t remember that? Me neither.) It will probably be the last for another ten years or more. This is actually a shame, since the movie is a lively little action comedy with a lot more reverence for the action comedies of the 1980s than I was expecting. It’s sort of like a more goofy, full-bodied version of the limp Kevin Smith flick ‘Cop Out.’ Oh well. R-rated action comedies don’t exactly catch fire in American theaters these days. Both the aforementioned ‘Cop Out’ (released earlier this year) and also ‘Observe and Report’ (which came out around this time last year) fizzled out similarly. ‘MacGruber’s’ shortcoming is bad news for Universal, which has seen tepid response to ‘Robin Hood’ and has suffered a year of costly flops including ‘The Wolf Man’ and ‘Green Zone.’
The rest of the top 10 is pretty much as you’d expect. ‘Robin Hood‘ continues its mediocre trudge towards breaking even, while ‘Iron Man 2‘ still rocks. If you’re wondering about the #10 movie, ‘Kites,’ that’s a Bollywood romance that’s playing in 208 theaters around the country. Apparently, this weekend (the 28th) will see the release of ‘Kites: The Remix,’ a re-edited and probably (with that title) re-scored version of the movie supervised by Brett Ratner, film ogre. There’s so much unappealing about that sentence that I can’t even begin…
This coming weekend sees the release of some big budget titans and some smaller independent movies opening in limited release. ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time‘ and ‘Sex & the City 2‘ will probably be slop, but will undoubtedly make big money. Meanwhile, George A. Romero’s latest zombie flick ‘Survival of the Dead‘ and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s ‘MicMacs‘ are more interesting, but will probably be ignored.
The Top 10 Follows:
01 ‘Shrek Forever After’ (DreamWorks Animation) – $71.2 million
02 ‘Iron Man 2’ (Marvel/Paramount) – $26.6 million
03 ‘Robin Hood’ (Universal) – $18.7 million
04 ‘Letters to Juliet’ (Summit) – $9.1 million
05 ‘Just Wright’ (Fox) – $4.2 million
06 ‘MacGruber’ (Universal) – $4.1 million
07 ‘Date Night (F0x) – $2.8 million
08 ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ (Warner Bros) – $2.2 million
09 ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ (DreamWorks Animation) – $1.8 million
10 ‘Kites’ (Reliance BIG Pictures) – $984,000