I wasn’t here yesterday to deliver you the ever-exciting results from the weekend box office because: 1.) It was Memorial Day, and I was loading up on hot dogs, hamburgers, and bad decisions, and 2.) At the start of the day (pre-hot dogs), the studios and box office witch doctors weren’t exactly sure who would end up coming in at the top spot. Was it the odious women of ‘Sex and the City 2‘ or the charming ogre of ‘Shrek Forever After‘? Well, everything’s been figured out, I’ve come down off my hot dog high, and you can read on, doubtlessly with breathless anticipation, for the results of the Memorial Day weekend duke out!
Coming in at #1 was, again, ‘Shrek Forever After,’ the latest and lamest (Actually, I don’t know if this is true, I’m only speculating – still haven’t seen it!) entry in the ‘Shrek’ franchise. This is something of a surprise considering the two heavily hyped newcomers to the box office arena this week, but isn’t too surprising given its family-friendly bent and lack of other options. (‘Toy Story 3’ is still a few weeks away, kids!) ‘Shrek’ added another $55.7 million to its tally, which is already nearing $150 million. Truth be told, this was a fairly tepid Memorial Day weekend, without a clear, record-breaking blockbuster. With such mediocre product out there, it’s a wonder anyone’s buying.
At #2, and this seems fairly definite after some waffling, is Disney’s absolutely terrible ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.’ Had this actually come in at #3, which was the speculation over the weekend, then I would have written about how this atrocious movie signaled all sorts of doom and gloom for Disney. And it still might, depending on how much it drops in its second weekend. Just think about all those Targets filled with unsold ‘Prince of Persia’ merchandise (including a light-up replica of the time travel dagger!), Imagineers angrily tearing up plans for a ‘Prince of Persia’ ride at Walt Disney World, and Jerry Bruckheimer quietly scrapping plans for another couple films. It could be disaster. But right now, things are kept at bay and it seems to have made, if not a seismic impact, then at least a little dent, with $37.8 million. (In comparison, ‘Shrek 4’ opened to more than $70 million.)
The ladies of ‘Sex and the City 2’ couldn’t get the first place spot, or even the second. They came in at third with $37.1 million. (See how closely these two films were.) This is still somewhat impressive, especially because it was a female-driven, female-marketed, R-rated comedy that almost beat out a $200 million action adventure extravaganza. Even more impressive is its performance in the face of absolutely savage reviews. But hey. Tons of fans got dressed up, smuggled liquor into the theater in water bottles, and had a great time. There will undoubtedly be another entry.
The rest of the top ten are the usual suspects – ‘Iron Man 2‘ continues to kick ass, while ‘Robin Hood‘ creeps ever closer to breaking even. (Although it probably won’t happen until DVD/Blu-ray sales are factored in, etc etc etc), blah blah blah. The only interesting thing is that ‘MacGruber,’ which seemed to be poised as one of the all-time box office disasters (it’s the worst start to a movie this year in over 1,000 theaters, among other dubious financial distinctions) actually hung around in the Top 10, at #9 with $1.9 million. Hey, it deserves it. It was a good little action spoof that deserves some attention. For realz.
01 ‘Shrek Forever After’ (DreamWorks Animation) – $55.7 million
02 ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’ (Disney) – $37.8 million
03 ‘Sex and the City 2’ (Warner Bros) – $37.1 million
04 ‘Iron Man 2’ (Marvel/Paramount) – $20.6 million
05 ‘Robin Hood’ (Universal) – $13.6 million
06 ‘Letters to Juliet’ (Summit) – $7.2 million
07 ‘Just Wright’ (Fox) – $2.7
08 ‘Date Night’ (Fox) – $2.2
09 ‘MacGruber’ (Universal) – $1.9
10 ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ (DreamWorks Animation) – $1.4