Box Office: Shrek Eludes Killers and Bashes Greeks

Shrek Forever After starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron DiazSay what you will about the big ugly green ogre, but he sure has staying power. Of course, it probably doesn’t hurt that he’s going up against some weak cheese. In its third week of release, “Shrek Forever After” continues to reign supreme at the box office, and it wasn’t even close: the fourth entry in the popular (but losing steam) CG franchise took the top spot once again with $25 million (for a 3-week total of $183 million), easily beating out newcomers “Get Him to the Greek” and “Killers”, according to studio estimates.

Mind you, not that Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl’s “Killers” did so badly. The action-comedy, which stars Kutcher as a former spy whose past comes back to try to kill him, probably didn’t cost all that much to make, and would seem to have plenty of life on cable and DVD once it finishes up its theatrical run. The film scored $16 million in its debut, which was good enough for third place. Second place went to the raunchy comedy “Get him to the Greek”, which just barely won out over Kutcher and Heigl’s film with $17.4 million in its debut, despite much better reviews and the approval of Judd Apatow. “Killers” was famously kept away from critics before it opened, leading to speculation that the film was not up to snuff. Either that, or the studio was willing to bet that Kutcher’s million of followers didn’t need some fuddy duddy at a newspaper telling them what to see.

Meanwhile, “Prince of Persia” continues to stumble at the domestic box office, but has thrived in foreign lands. The film has earned a meager $59.4 million after two weeks of release in the homeland, but has raked in $156.4 million in overseas doubloons so far. While its Stateside numbers are worrisome, the film, and Disney’s hope of launching another “Pirates of the Caribbean”-type franchise may be saved by the film’s overseas appeal. It might not be the perfect scenario for Disney, which clearly constructed “Persia” as a franchise-ready movie, but any excuse to see more of Gemma Arterton in medieval garb, or lack therof (right) is a-okay in my book.

Meanwhile, talking dog movie “Marmaduke” and Vincenzo Natalie’s unlikely studio release “Splice” (which played the festival circuit a year before it finally found a home at the box office through Warner Bros.) failed to really make much of an impact in their respective debuts. Talking dog movie “Marmaduke” opened in 6th place with $11.3 million, while “Splice” genetically engineer a modest 7th place showing with $7.4 million. Even so, hopefully Natali’s introduction to the masses will lead to bigger and better things for the Canadian director. As a “showcase” piece, “Splice” was probably a bad choice. Any other film in Natali’s filmography would have been a better introduction.

1 —–Shrek Forever After —–$25,300,000 —–$183,043,000
2 —–Get Him to the Greek —–$17,423,000—– $17,423,000
3 —–Killers —–$16,100,000 —–$16,100,000
4 —–Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time —–$13,900,000—–$59,452,000
5 —–Sex and the City 2 —–$12,650,000 —–$73,434,000
6 —–Marmaduke —–$11,300,000 —–$11,300,000
7 —–Iron Man 2 —– $7,783,000 —–$291,294,000
8 —–Splice —–$7,450,000 —–$7,450,000
9 —–Robin Hood —–$5,133,000—–$94,262,000
10 —–Letters to Juliet —– $3,000,000 —–$43,300,000

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