Box Office: Shrek’s Popular Not Ogre Yet, MacGruber MacStinks

It’s not ogre just yet: “Shrek Forever After” opened to $71 million and first place over the weekend, according to studio estimates. Those are killer numbers, to be sure, but it’s also the weakest debut of all the “Shrek” films, perhaps signaling that the franchise is indeed on its last legs. The $71 million by “Shrek Forever After”, the fourth film in the series, falls well short of 2007’s “Shrek the Third”, which brought in a $121 million opening weekend on its way to $323 million in the States and $799 million worldwide. To date, 2004’s “Shrek 2” remains the most profitable installment, scoring $919 million worldwide. It’s doubtful that “Shrek Forever After” will get anywhere close to that high.

There was only one studio film that opened opposite “Shrek”, the “Saturday Night Live”-derived comedy “MacGruber”, a big-screen parody of the “MacGyver” TV show. Mac and buddies opened in sixth place with a less than convincing $4 million. Thankfully for Lorne Michaels and company, “MacGruber” was made on a modest $10 million budget, so it doesn’t exactly have far to go to recoup its production costs. That reachable threshold, plus future DVD, cable, and TV sales should make the film profitable in the long run, though for the moment it certainly proves the long-standing theory that “Saturday Night Live” skits belongs on TV, not on the big screen. It’ll also be interesting to see how the failure of “MacGruber” affects, if any, New Line’s upcoming adaptation of “MacGyver”.


“Iron Man 2” continues a strong box office showing in its third week, taking the second spot with another $26.6 million, giving the superhero film $251 million in three weeks of release. Jon Favreau’s sequel has made $506 million worldwide. At its current rate, “Iron Man 2” should easily surpass the original, which topped off at $585 back in 2008.

In disappointing news for the studio, Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s “Robin Hood”, which has made $191 million worldwide in two weeks of release, continues to show lackluster results at the domestic box office. The film has only made $66 million in the States so far, not good numbers considering the film’s initial $200 million budget. When you add in all the other costs of production and advertising, “Robin Hood” has quite the ways to go to turn a profit. Is it too late to do “Gladiator 2”?

1 —–Shrek Forever After —–$71,250,000—–$71,250,000
2 —–Iron Man 2 —–$26,600,000 —–$251,265,000
3 —–Robin Hood —–$18,700,000 —–$66,100,000
4 —–Letters to Juliet —– $9,100,000 —–$27,400,000
5 —–Just Wright —–$4,225,000—–$14,631,000
6 —–MacGruber —– $4,100,000—– $4,100,000
7 —–Date Night —–$2,825,000 —–$90,660,000
8 —–A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) —–$2,285,000 —–$59,931,000
9 —–How to Train Your Dragon —–$1,850,000—– $210,940,000
10 —–Kites —–$1,035,000 —– $1,035,000

Chicks dig the car. MacGruber? Not so much.