In a big surprise, Shrek Forever After is the #1 film for the second weekend in a row, out grossing both Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. My predictions were what I consider to be the worst of the year. Even though I predicted all five films in the top five I only got two in order, and was absolutely way off on the predictions for the new releases this weekend. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Staying in 1st place for the second weekend in a row is Shrek Forever After with a gross of $43.3 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $39.6 million). Shrek Forever After had a per theatre average of $9,926 (which for the second weekend in a row was the highest per theatre average in the top ten), and was down 38.8% from last weekend. I was wrong about what I thought audiences would want to see this weekend. The family audience dominated the Memorial Day Weekend, and easily led Shrek Forever After to a first place victory. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was geared to a little older audience, and Shrek Forever After was truly the only choice for families to go see together. It was also the only major release in 3-D, which helped its bottom line. The drop on the second weekend was pretty good for the Shrek franchise, as here’s the percentage drop for the Shrek films on their second weekend:
2001 – Shrek – $42.4 million second weekend gross – Up 0.3%
2004 – Shrek 2 – $72.1 million second weekend gross – Down 33.2%
2007 – Shrek the Third – $53 million second weekend gross – Down 56.4%
2010 – Shrek Forever After – $39.6 million second weekend gross – Down 38.8%
Unfortunately, the film is not on pace to surpass any of the other sequels in the franchise, as here are the total grosses of the Shrek franchise after their second weekend:
2001 – Shrek – $99 million gross
2004 – Shrek 2 – $236.9 million gross
2007 – Shrek the Third – $203.3 million gross
2010 – Shrek Forever After – $133 million gross
Yes Shrek Forever After has grossed more in its second weekend than the original Shrek did back in 2001, but Shrek Forever After is declining at a much faster rate, so I don’t think it will surpass the original Shrek’s total gross of $267.6 million, and if it does, it will not by very much.
Debuting in a very disappointing 2nd place is Sex and the City 2 with a gross of $32.1 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $62 million). The film had a per theatre average of $9,325. This has to be the last film in the franchise. Interest is just not there for audiences on the big screen anymore. If Sex and the City wants to continue to tell stories, it should go back to television. I don’t say that to be cruel, I say that because the numbers don’t lie. Let’s compare opening weekend grosses for the two films:
Sex and the City – $57 million opening weekend
Sex and the City 2 – $32.1 million opening weekend
Sex and the City 2 opened with only 56.3% of the originals opening weekend gross.
Now let’s compare the per theatre averages for both films on their opening weekends:
Sex and the City – $17,363 per theatre average
Sex and the City 2 – $9,325 per theatre average
Sex and the City 2 opened with 53.7% of the originals opening weekend per theatre average.
Needless to say, sequels are supposed to make more money on the opening weekend than the original. There’s more hype and more demand for a sequel, so the thinking is more money can be made. Sex and the City 2 did not do that, and I think people got their expectations out of whack. If Sex and the City 2 had moved to a non-summer release date, and had this gross on its opening weekend, I think people would be all right with it. Unfortunately, it got a prime summer release date, and $32.1 million is just not a good gross for the Memorial Day long weekend. I’m sure studio executives will be wondering what went wrong on this film. One more point to make on the Sex and the City franchise:
Sex and the City – $65 million budget
Sex and the City 2 – $100 million budget
There’s no way the sequel will be as profitable as the first film. Sex and the City 2 opened on Thursday, so the gross after 4 days stands at $46.3 million.
Debuting in 3rd place, to somewhat disappointing results is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time with a gross of $30.1 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $48 million). The film had a per theatre average of $8,275. I’ll be honest, I’m a little dumb-founded that this film did not gross over $40 million. In fact, of all the films that I used to compare Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time with on Friday, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time managed to have a lower gross than any of the movies I compared it with. Here’s the list from Friday:
Clash of the Titans – $61.2 million opening weekend
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian – $55 million opening weekend
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – $54.1 million opening weekend
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – $46.6 million opening weekend
National Treasure: Book of Secrets – $44.7 million opening weekend
The Mummy – $43.3 million opening weekend
Terminator: Salvation – $42.5 million opening weekend
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – $40.4 million opening weekend
National Treasure – $35.1 million opening weekend
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – $30.1 million opening weekend
Reviews were mixed, but young men don’t care about critics. It was based on a popular video game, but it might have suffered from the fact that most video game adaptations do not do well in theatres (even though Rotten Tomatoes listed Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time as the best reviewed video game film in a recent article). Jake Gyllenhaal will escape unscathed from this because people didn’t come to the film to see him. People were supposed to see this film because it was a Jerry Bruckheimer event movie, and unfortunately the result on its opening weekend was very underwhelming. Like the execs at New Line for Sex and the City 2, the execs at Disney will be wondering why they green-lit a $200 million film, and why the film had such a subpar opening weekend.
Iron Man 2 dropped from 2nd place to 4th place with a gross of $16 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $14.9 million). Iron Man 2 had a per theatre average of $4,215 and dropped 39.2% from last weekend. Continuing what I did last weekend, I wanted to bring up an interesting point of comparison. Here are the numbers for the two Iron Man films on their 4th weekend:
2008 – Iron Man – $20.4 million fourth weekend gross // 35.8% drop from previous weekend. Total gross in its third weekend – $252.6 million.
2010 – Iron Man 2 – $16 million fourth weekend gross // 39.2% drop from previous weekend. Total gross in its third weekend – $274.6 million.
It is interesting to note that Iron Man out grossed Iron Man 2 on both its third and fourth weekends. The rapid decline on the sequel is not a good sign for Marvel, and I’m sure they are noting that. However, the franchise is still healthy and Iron Man 2 should be able to pass the original Iron Man’s gross of $318.4 million, but not by very much.
Dropping from 3rd place to 5th place is Robin Hood with a gross of $10.3 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $11 million). Robin Hood had a per theatre average of $3,055 and dropped 45.1% from last weekend. The film will be out of the top five next weekend. One has to say that the domestic gross for the film has to be a little disappointing (considering the reported $200 million budget on the film), although the foreign grosses are more than making up for it. After three weekends Robin Hood has grossed $83 million.
The only other major story of the weekend was the continued decline of MacGruber. The film grossed $1.4 million in its second weekend, and suffered a drop of 63.5%. That’s bad, but not as bad as the per theatre average. MacGruber is playing in 2,546 theatres, so therefore the per theatre average is $580. I do think MacGruber will find an audience on DVD, because I don’t think this is the type of film people want to shell out $12 for to see in theatres.
Here’s the How to Train Your Dragon report for the weekend to see if it can succeed in its quest to become the highest grossing non-Shrek film in DreamWorks animation history. This weekend How to Train Your Dragon finished in 10th place with a gross of $1.025 million. Its total gross stands at $212.6 million, and it is now less than $3 million away from surpassing Kung Fu Panda for the title of highest grossing non-Shrek film in DreamWorks animation history. Here’s the list:
1) Shrek 2 – $441.2 million
2) Shrek The Third – $322.7 million
3) Shrek – $267.6 million
4) Kung Fu Panda – $215.4 million
5) How To Train Your Dragon – $212.6 million
In limited release:
Micmacs – The film by acclaimed director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (of Amelie fame) that follows a video store clerk who turns a dump into a place of wonder and magic grossed $48,700 from 4 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $12,175, which as of this writing is the highest per theatre average of any film in release this weekend.
Breathless – The classic film by Jean-Luc Godard got re-released this weekend and grossed $32,700 from 4 theatres for a per theatre average of $8,175.
George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead, Mademoiselle Chambon, Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies, and Agora have not reported their opening weekend grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
- Sex and the City 2 – $62 million
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – $48 million
- Shrek Forever After – $39.6 million
- Iron Man 2 – $14.9 million
- Robin Hood – $11 million
And here are the actual numbers:
- Shrek Forever After – $43.3 million
- Sex and the City 2 – $32.1 million
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – $30.1 million
- Iron Man 2 – $16 million
- Robin Hood – $10.3 million
My predictions were off by $53.3 million.
Next weekend, Shrek Forever After looks to be the #1 film at the box office for a third weekend in a row against Get Him to the Greek, The Killers, Marmaduke, and Splice. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!