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Memorial Day to Forget: Worst Box Office in Two Decades?

Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City 2
Sex and the City 2 with Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker

June 4, '10, update: Shrek Forever After's maintained its position at the top of the U.S. and Canada box office on Thursday, June 3. The 3D animated fantasy grossed $3.61 million (up 5 percent from Wednesday), according to Box Office Mojo.

Michael Patrick King's Sex and the City 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, was once again the no. 2 movie, with $3.06 million.

At no. 3, Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley, earned $2.29 million.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 took in $1.25 million at no. 4, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $943,000.

Starring Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, and Vanessa Redgrave, Letters to Juliet was no. 6 with $723,000. Next in line was Will Forte's MacGruber with $203,000.

Rounding out the top eleven were Tina Fey's Date Night with $186,000, Queen Latifah's Just Wright with $178,000, Gerard Butler's How to Train Your Dragon with $98,000, and Jackie Earle Haley's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $92,000.

Among the top eleven movies, Sex and the City 2 had the highest per-theater average, $890. MacGruber had the lowest, $80.

Also among the top eleven, MacGruber had the worst drop-off rate from the previous day, down 11.2 percent. How to Train Your Dragon posted the highest gains, up 12.7 percent.

Photo: Sex and the City 2 (Craig Blankenhorn / New Line / Warner Bros.)

Follow-up Post

Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Get Him to the Greek
Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Get Him to the Greek

Shrek Forever After will likely rule North America's weekend box office once again, according to most predictions. Figures are expected to remain tepid, as business should heat up only with the arrival of Jackie Chan's The Karate Kid, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, and Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

Shrek Forever After is expected to gross between $25-$30 million on its third weekend, while the four new releases – Get Him to the Greek, Marmaduke, Killers, and Splice – will likely fail to offer it any major competition. As for last weekend's holdovers, Sarah Jessica Parker's Sex and the City 2 and Jake Gyllenhaal's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, they'll be lucky if they're still found among the top ten a few weeks from now.

The Jonah Hill-Russell Brand comedy Get Him to the Greek is expected to take in somewhere between $17-22 million. Starring Ashton Kutcher and Katharine Heigl, the action-romance-comedy Killers should nab between $15-$18 million, thus running neck-and-neck with kiddie flick Marmaduke, which revolves around a talking dog.

Executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, and starring Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody, Vincenzo Natale's Splice should gross around $10 million.

Both Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia are expected to collect another $15 million or so; Iron Man 2 around $9-11m; and Robin Hood around $2-5 million.

Here are a few sources: boxoffice.com, blogcritics.org, movieweb.com, EW.com.

Photo: Universal Pictures

June 3 update

Cynthia Nixon, Sex and the City 2
Cynthia Nixon, Sex and the City 2

Shrek Forever After's lead at the North American box office was further diminished on Wednesday, June 2. The 3D animated fantasy grossed $3.44 million (-11.1 percent from Tuesday), according to Box Office Mojo.

Michael Patrick King's Sex and the City 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, was once again the no. 2 movie, with $3.21 million.

At no. 3, Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley, earned $2.42 million, after losing more than 20 percent of its Tuesday take.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 collected $1.22 million at no. 4, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $944,000.

Starring Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, and Vanessa Redgrave, Letters to Juliet was no. 6 with $671,000. Next, was Will Forte's MacGruber with $229k and Paula Patton's Just Wright with $193,000.

Rounding out the top eleven were Steve Carell's Date Night with $184,000, Thomas Dekker's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $98,000, and America Ferrera's How to Train Your Dragon with $87,000.

Among the top eleven movies, Sex and the City 2 had the highest per-theater average, $933; despite costlier ticket prices, Shrek Forever After was no. 2, with $789. MacGruber had the lowest average, $90.

Also among the top eleven, Prince of Persia had the worst drop-off rate from the previous day, down 21.2 percent. Date Night was the only movie to post attendance gains, a minuscule up 0.9 percent.

Cynthia Nixon Sex and the City 2 photo: Craig Blankenhorn / New Line / Warner Bros.

June 2

Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City 2
Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City 2

Shrek Forever After maintained a small lead at the North American box office on Tuesday, June 1. The 3D animated fantasy took in $3.87 million according to Box Office Mojo.

Sex and the City 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, went up one spot, with $3.45 million at no. 2. Michael Patrick King's widely panned comedy was followed by Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley, with $3.07 million.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 earned $1.38 million at no. 4. At no. 5, Russell Crowe's Robin Hood grossed $1.09 million.

Letters to Juliet, starring Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, and Vanessa Redgrave, was the no. 6 movie with $710k. Next, was Ryan Phillippe's MacGruber with $254k and Queen Latifah's Just Wright with $220k.

Rounding out the top eleven were Tina Fey's Date Night with $182,000, Jackie Earle Haley's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $102,000, and Jay Baruchel's How to Train Your Dragon with $90k.

Among the top eleven movies, Sex and the City 2 had the highest per-theater average, $1,004; MacGruber had the lowest, $100.

Also among the top eleven, How to Train Your Dragon had the worst drop-off rate from Monday, down 75 percent. Sex and the City 2 had the lowest, down 40.7 percent.

Photos: Sex and the City 2 (Craig Blankenhorn / New Line / Warner Bros.)

June 1, '10, update

Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Gemma Arterton and Jake Gyllenhaal in Mike Newell's adventure flick Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

In North America, Shrek Forever After was the top movie of one of the weakest Memorial Day weekends in the last two decades. The 3D animated fantasy grossed $57.06 million from Friday-Monday – about $1.5 million above studio estimates – according to Box Office Mojo.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time landed in second place with $37.8 million.

Sex and the City 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, was next with $36.8 million.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 earned $21 million at no. 4, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $13.4 million.

Letters to Juliet, starring Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, and Vanessa Redgrave, was the no. 6 movie with $7.4 million. Next was Queen Latifah's Just Wright with $2.8 million, followed by Tina Fey and Steve Carell's Date Night with $2.3 million.

Rounding out the top twelve were Ryan Phillippe's MacGruber with $2 million, Gerard Butler's How to Train Your Dragon with $1.5 million, Thomas Dekker's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $1.1 million, and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, back among the top twelve, with $730k.

Compared to the previous (3-day) weekend, among the top twelve movies Shrek Forever After (at least in part thanks to costlier 3D ticket prices) had the highest per-theater average, $13,066, followed by Sex and the City 2 ($10,692) and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ($10,371). MacGruber had the lowest, $795.

Among last weekend's holdovers, A Nightmare on Elm Street had the worst drop-off rate, down 51.4 percent. Alice in Wonderland was the only movie to post attendance gains, a hefty up 50.6 percent.

Photos: Prince of Pesia: The Sands of Time (Andrew Cooper / Disney / Jerry Bruckheimer)

May 31 update

Sarah Jessica Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City 2
Jake Gyllenhaal, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Sarah Jessica Parker in Michael Patrick King's Sex and the City 2 (top); Jake Gyllenhaal in Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (bottom)

Shrek Forever After is by far the top movie of the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend in North America (of course, Memorial Day is not a holiday in Canada), grossing an estimated $55.725 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

But as far as Hollywood is concerned, what'll make this Memorial Day weekend memorable are its dismal box office results: the lowest in 9 years in unadjusted dollar amounts ($186m) and the lowest in 17 years in actual number of tickets sold according to Hollywood.com.

Needless to say, both Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time underperformed; the former possibly landing in third place with $37.145 million (pundits had been predicting grosses as high as $45m) and the latter (possibly) in second place with $37.8 million (a couple of million less than the expected $40m). Bear in mind that those two movies could easily switch their positions on the box office chart once final figures are announced Tuesday.

Directed by Michael Patrick King, Sex and the City 2 stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis. Directed by Mike Newell, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 earned $20.6 million at no. 4, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $13.6 million.

Letters to Juliet, starring Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero, and Gael Garcia Bernal, was the no. 6 movie with $7.25 million. Next was Queen Latifah's Just Wright with $2.7 million, followed by Tina Fey and Steve Carell's Date Night with $2.25 million.

Rounding out the top eleven were Ryan Phillippe's MacGruber with $1.9 million, America Ferrera's How to Train Your Dragon with $1.46 million, and Jackie Earle Haley's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $1.14 million.

Compared to the previous (3-day) weekend, among the top eleven movies Shrek Forever After (at least in part thanks to costlier 3D ticket prices) had the highest per-theater average, $12,760, followed by Sex and the City 2 ($10,782) and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ($10,368). MacGruber had the lowest, $746.

Among last weekend's holdovers, MacGruber had the worst drop-off rate, down 53 percent. Letters to Juliet had the lowest, down 19.5 percent.

Photos: Sex and the City 2 (Craig Blankenhorn / Warner Bros.); Prince of Pesia: The Sands of Time (Andrew Cooper / Disney / Jerry Bruckheimer)

May 30 update

Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Sex and the City 2
Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, camel, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis in Michael Patrick King's Sex and the City 2 (top); Gemma Arterton, Jake Gyllenhaal in Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (bottom)

Partly as a result of higher ticket prices for 3D movies – and the fact that children can't go to the movies without their parents or some other adult(s) – Shrek Forever After, as expected, regained the top spot at the North American box office this holiday weekend, possibly the weakest in a decade, after falling behind Sex and the City 2 for two consecutive days (Thu. & Fri.).

According to studios' estimates (up to Sunday) found at Box Office Mojo, Shrek Forever After's weekend grosses should total $43.34 million, a 38.8 percent drop from last week. That doesn't sound bad, especially when compared to, say, Shrek the Third, which dropped 56.4 percent on its second (Memorial Day) weekend three years ago. (Though that Shrek debuted with $121.6 million vs. Shrek Forever After's $70.8m.)

To date, Shrek Forever After has taken in $133 million. (Cost: $165 million.)

Perhaps the bad reviews or bad word of mouth – or a combination of both – caught up with Sex and the City 2 on the weekend proper. Michael Patrick King's widely panned comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, was down 22.6 percent Saturday and is expected to lose another 10 percent Sunday, falling behind Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on both days.

As per studio estimates, Sex and the City 2's grosses will total $32.1 million over the three-day weekend, for a cume of $46.3 million after four days. At this point, it looks unlikely that the Sex and the City sequel (cost: $100m) will match the $45 million some had predicted for the four-day Memorial Day weekend.

Two years ago, when movie ticket prices were about 10-15 percent cheaper, the original opened with $57 million at the end of May (the weekend after Memorial Day).

At no. 3, the costly ($200 million or so, according to reports) Jerry Bruckheimer production Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, directed by Mike Newell, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley, debuted with a soft $30.7 million at 3,646 theaters.

For comparison's sake, Robin Hood, another $200 million production, opened with $37 million at 3,503 sites a couple of weeks ago – on a non-holiday weekend. And that Ridley Scott period adventure has underperformed the domestic box office ($83 million after 17 days), which means things don't look too good for Prince of Persia.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 earned $16 million at no. 4. This is another sequel that may end up faring worse at the box office than the original. To date, the generally dismissed sci-fier/actioner has taken in a total of $274 million. Having said that, it could still surpass the original's $318.4 million, at least partly thanks to higher ticket prices.

At no. 5, Russell Crowe's Robin Hood grossed $10.3 million.

Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero, Letters to Juliet
Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave in Gary Winick's Letters to Juliet

The romantic tale Letters to Juliet, starring Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero, and Gael Garcia Bernal, was the no. 6 movie this Memorial Day weekend, earning $5.9 million (total: $36.6m) according to figures found at Box Office Mojo.

Next was Queen Latifah and Paula Patton's Just Wright with $2.2 million (total: $18.1 million), followed by Tina Fey and Steve Carell's Date Night with $1.75 million (total: 93.4m).

Rounding out the top eleven were Ryan Phillippe's MacGruber with $1.47 million (total: a dismal $7.1 million), Jay Baruchel's How to Train Your Dragon with $1.02 million (total: 212.6 million), and Thomas Dekker's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $865k (total: $61.6m).

Among the top eleven movies, Shrek Forever After (thanks to costlier 3D ticket prices) had the highest per-theater average, $9,926, followed by Sex and the City 2 ($9,325) and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ($8,275). MacGruber had the lowest, $580.

Among last weekend's holdovers, MacGruber had the worst drop-off rate, down 63.5 percent. Letters to Juliet had the lowest, down 34.5 percent.

Photo: Letters to Juliet (John Johnson / Summit Entertainment)

Photo: Sex and the City 2 (Craig Blankenhorn / Warner Bros.); Prince of Pesia: The Sands of Time (Andrew Cooper / Disney / Jerry Bruckheimer)

May 29 afternoon update

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Sex and the City 2
Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Prince of Pesia: The Sands of Time
Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Sex and the City 2 (top); Gemma Arterton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (bottom)

Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, Michael Patrick King's Sex and the City 2 added another $13 million on Friday, May 28, at the North American box office, according to Box Office Mojo. On its first two days out (including Wed. midnight screenings), the much-lambasted comedy has taken in $27.8 million.

Shrek Forever After was once again the no. 2 movie, collecting $11.4 million. Shrek will likely return to the top spot by the end of the Memorial Day weekend.

At no. 3, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley, debuted with a relatively soft $10.2 million at 3,646 theaters, averaging $2,798 per location.

For comparison's sake, another $200 million production, Robin Hood, opened with $13.5 million at 3,503 sites a couple of weeks ago – and that Ridley Scott period adventure has turned into a costly disappointment at the domestic box office ($75.5 million after 15 days).

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 earned $4.39 million at no. 4, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $2.8 million. It's a good thing for Universal that Robin Hood is performing much better overseas – even though with about $125 million in two weeks or so, it's not exactly what one would call a megablockbuster.

Amanda Seyfried and Christopher Egan's romantic comedy-drama Letters to Juliet was the no. 6 movie, with $1.8 million. Next in line was Queen Latifah's Just Wright with $585,000.

Rounding out the top eleven were Ryan Phillippe's MacGruber with $460,000, Steve Carell's Date Night with $505,000, Jackie Earle Haley's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $265,000, and Gerard Butler's How to Train Your Dragon with $241,000.

Among the aforementioned movies, Sex and the City 2 had the highest per-theater average, $3,774. MacGruber had the lowest, $181.

Also among the aforementioned titles, Sex and the City 2 was the only one to suffer an attendance drop from the day before, down 8.9 percent. However, that's because Wed. midnight figures – $3 million – were included on Thursday's box office take. Excluding Wednesday's grosses, Sex and the City 2 collected an extra 16 percent on Friday.

As usual for films aimed at children and their obliging parents, Shrek Forever After had the highest attendance surge, up 157 percent.

Photo: Sex and the City 2 (Craig Blankenhorn / Warner Bros.); Prince of Pesia: The Sands of Time (Andrew Cooper / Disney / Jerry Bruckheimer)

May 29 early morning

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Sex and the City 2
Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Sex and the City 2

Mostly rotten reviews notwithstanding, including accusations of insensitivity, bigotry, hypocrisy, cultural arrogance, and – most damning of all – tediousness, Sex and the City 2 performed remarkably well on Thursday, May 27, topping the North American box office with a solid $14.2 million at 3,445 theaters, according to Box Office Mojo. That includes about $3 million from Wednesday midnight screenings. Sex and the City 2 is expected to gross another $45 million over the Memorial Day weekend.

Directed and written by Michael Patrick King, Sex and the City 2 stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis as the four Big City Women whose gender-related problems are nothing compared to what Muslim women have to go through.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, is this weekend's other major newcomer. The (reportedly) $200 million production is expected to take in $40 million domestically by Monday – not the greatest sign for its box office longevity and profitability. Prince of Persia, which, like Sex and the City 2, was shot in Morocco, opened to a disappointing $18 million overseas last weekend.

Back to this past Thursday, Shrek Forever After was demoted to the no. 2 spot a mere six days after its debut, taking in $4.41 million. Shrek, however, may return to the top spot on the weekend.

At no. 3, Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 earned $1.84 million, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $1.54 million.

Amanda Seyfried and Christopher Egan's romantic comedy-drama Letters to Juliet was the no. 5 movie, with $814,000.

Will Forte's widely panned comedy MacGruber collected $344,000 at no. 6; Paula Patton's Just Wright grossed $284,000 at no. 7.

Rounding out the top twelve were Tina Fey's Date Night with $212,000, Thomas Dekker's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $162k and America Ferrera's How to Train Your Dragon with $133,000, Hubble 3D with $90,000, and Thomas Balmes' Babies with $86,000.

Starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori, the Bollywood-meets-Hollywood action-thriller Kites earned only $38k on Thursday, a 54 percent drop since Monday. (Kites' domestic figures had been unavailable at Box Office Mojo from Mon-Wed. International figures for the film – $14 million, according to several reports last weekend – may have been inflated.)

Among the aforementioned movies, Sex and the City 2 had the highest per-theater average, $4,124. How to Train Your Dragon had the lowest average, $76.

Also among the aforementioned titles, A Nightmare on Elm Street had the worst drop-off rate from the day before, down 19.7 percent. Iron Man 2 had the highest attendance surge, up 9.2 percent.

Photo: Sex and the City 2 (Craig Blankenhorn / Warner Bros.)

May 27 update

Shrek Forever After remained the no. 1 movie at the North American box office on Wednesday, May 26, taking in $4.076 million – another relatively steep drop-off rate, down 13 percent, from the day before – as per Box Office Mojo.

Mike Myers, Antonio Banderas, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, and Julie Andrews, are some of the stars providing voices for the various characters.

Starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori, Kites' weekday figures remain unavailable on the Box Office Mojo chart.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 collected $1.68 million at no. 2, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $1.48 million.

Amanda Seyfried and Christopher Egan's romantic Letters to Juliet was the no. 4 movie, with $809K.

Will Forte's widely panned comedy MacGruber took in $357,000 at no. 5. Queen Latifah's Just Wright earned $294,000 at no. 6.

Next in line was Tina Fey and Steve Carell's comedy of errors Date Night with $230k.

Rounding out the top nine (as mentioned above, Kites figures were unavailable) were Jackie Earle Haley's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $202k and Jay Baruchel's How to Train Your Dragon with $143,000.

Other figures: Thomas Balmes' Babies with $86,000, Hubble 3D with $82,000, and Alex O'Loughlin's The Back-up Plan with $76,000.

Among the aforementioned movies, Hubble 3D had the highest per-theater average, $1,711 at 48 theaters (all things being equal, the fewer the number of sites the higher the per-theater average). Despite higher ticket prices for 3D/IMAX screenings, Shrek Forever After averaged only $935, having now fallen below the $1,000-a-day mark. The Back-up Plan had the lowest average, $71.

Also among the aforementioned titles, Just Wright had the worst drop-off rate, down 18.1 percent. Hubble 3D and Babies were the only two movies to post revenue increases, up 17.3 percent and up 1.2 percent, respectively.

Photo: DreamWorks Animation

May 26 update

Shrek Forever After

Shrek Forever After remained the no. 1 movie at the North American box office on Tuesday, May 25, earning $4.688 million – a steep drop-off rate of down 17.8 percent from the day before – according to Box Office Mojo.

Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Eddie Murphy, and Julie Andrews, among others, provide the voices of the various characters.

Starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori, Kites landed at no. 10 on its debut weekend. No information on the film's weekday box office revenues was available on the Box Office Mojo chart.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 took in $1.8 million – having fallen below the $2 million per day mark – at no. 2, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $1.66 million.

The no. 4 movie was Amanda Seyfried and Christopher Egan's Letters to Juliet, with $886K.

Will Forte's MacGruber collected $433,000 at no. 5, while Queen Latifah's Just Wright earned $359,000 at no. 6.

Next in line was Tina Fey and Steve Carell's comedy Date Night with $240k.

Rounding out the top nine (as mentioned above, Kites figures were unavailable) were Thomas Dekker's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $214k and Gerard Butler's How to Train Your Dragon with $145,000.

Jennifer Lopez's The Back-up Plan took in $91k and Thomas Balmes' Babies 87,000.

Among the aforementioned movies, Shrek Forever After – aided by higher 3D/IMAX surcharges – had the highest per-theater average, $1,076. Another mid-sized drop and it'll fall below the $1,000-a-day mark. How to Train Your Dragon had the lowest average, $83.

Also among the aforementioned titles, How to Train Your Dragon had the worst drop-off rate, down 23.7 percent. Letters to Juliet was the only movie to post an increase, up 3.1 percent.

Photo: DreamWorks Animation

May 25

Shrek Forever After, Shrek, Rumpelstiltskin
Shrek (Mike Myers), Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), Shrek Forever After

Shrek Forever After was the no. 1 movie at the North American box office on Monday, May 24, earning $5.7 million according to Box Office Mojo.

Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Eddie Murphy, Julie Andrews, Jane Lynch, and Jon Hamm, among others, provide the voices of the various characters.

Starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori, Kites landed at no. 10 on its debut weekend with $958,000. No information on the film's Monday box office take was available at this time.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 grossed $2.21 million (down 40 percent from a week ago) at no. 2, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $1.85 million (down 35 percent from last Monday).

The no. 4 movie was the Amanda Seyfried-Christopher Egan romantic drama-comedy Letters to Juliet, with $859K, below the $1 million per day mark for the first time since it opened 11 days ago.

MacGruber, Jorma Taccone's comedy starring Will Forte, Kristen Wig, and Ryan Phillippe, drew only $471k on Day 4, followed by Sanaa Hamri's romantic comedy Just Wright, starring Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, and Pam Grier, with $361,000 at no. 6.

Next in line was Steve Carell and Tina Fey's comedy Date Night with $266,000.

Rounding out the top nine (as mentioned above, Kites figures are unavailable at this time) were Thomas Dekker's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $232k and Gerard Butler's How to Train Your Dragon with $190k.

Alex O'Loughlin's The Back-up Plan took in $95k and Thomas Balmes' Babies 87,000.

Among the aforementioned movies, Shrek Forever After – aided by higher 3D/IMAX surcharges – had the highest per-theater average, $1,309. The Back-up Plan had the lowest, $88.

Also among the aforementioned titles, Shrek Forever After had the worst drop-off rate, down 73 percent. Unless things stabilize, 3D/IMAX surcharges or no, Shrek could fall below the $1,000 per theater average mark by Thursday. (For obvious reasons, movies aimed at kids usually suffer more than most on weekdays.) MacGruber had lowest drop-off rate, down 53.2 percent.

Photo: DreamWorks Animation

May 25 update

Jake Gyllenhaal, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Jake Gyllenhaal, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Internationally, Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which opens in North America this Friday, took in a disappointing $18 million in 19 territories. Spain was the top market for Prince of Persia, but $3 million on an opening weekend would hardly turn the videogame-based flick starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley, into a local blockbuster.

For comparison's sake, Hrithik Roshan's Kites, a $20 million production distributed by Reliance Big Pictures, grossed $14 million worldwide. It opened in the US at 208 screens, grossing nearly $1 million.

Curiously, Kites is Bollywood set in North America (the romantic action-thriller was shot in the US), nearly taking over Hollywood set in Asia.

Studios have blamed unseasonably warm weather for a major drop in movie attendance throughout Europe.

It's unclear who or what will be blamed if Prince of Persia – which was to have been released last year – underperforms at the domestic box office next weekend. But Jake Gyllenhaal's skin color shouldn't be an issue. Ancient Persians, after all, were Aryans.

Russell Crowe's Robin Hood retained the no. 1 spot at the international box office despite losing 60 percent of its audience on its second weekend. The $30 million generated overseas catapulted Ridley Scott's period adventure to a total of $125 million.

That's not bad, but considering Robin Hood's $200 million+ cost in addition to millions more spent on marketing and distribution worldwide, Universal may have some trouble recovering its hefty investment. Domestically, Robin Hood has grossed only $68 million up to Monday. (Generally speaking, studios keep about half of a film's box office gross.)

Shrek Forever After, which topped the North American box office this past weekend, grossed $26 million at no. 2 overseas.

Sources: Box Office Mojo, The Hollywood Reporter (via ABC.com)

Photo: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Andrew Cooper / Disney / Jerry Bruckheimer)

May 24 update

Shrek Forever After Fiona Shrek
Shrek (Mike Myers), Fiona (Cameron Diaz) Shrek Forever After

Shrek Forever After topped the U.S. and Canada's weekend box office chart, grossing about $400,000 less than Sunday's studio estimates: $70.8 million – at the lower end of expectations for DreamWorks Animation's $165 million production – according to Box Office Mojo.

Shrek Forever After features the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Eddie Murphy, Julie Andrews, Jane Lynch, and Jon Hamm, among others.

Starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori, and directed by Anurag Basu, the new entry Kites landed at no. 10, with $958K (or about $100K less than Sunday's estimates). Kites averaged a passable $4,609 at 208 theaters.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 collected $26.3 million (down 49.3 percent from a week ago; total: $251m) at no. 2, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $18.7 million (down 48.1 percent; total $66m). It's a good thing for Universal that their $200m+ period epic is doing much better overseas.

The no. 4 movie of the weekend was the Amanda Seyfried-Christopher Egan romantic tale Letters to Juliet, with a good $9 million on its second week (total: $27m).

Sanaa Hamri's romantic comedy Just Wright, starring Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, and Pam Grier, drew $4.29 million at no. 5. Total: $14 million.

New entry MacGruber, Jorma Taccone's comedy starring Will Forte (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Kristen Wig, and Ryan Phillippe, bombed, grossing a mere $4.04 million at 2,551 sites ($1,585 average).

Next in line was Steve Carell and Tina Fey's comedy of errors Date Night with $2.91 million. Total: $90.7 million.

Rounding out the top twelve were Thomas Dekker's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $2.32 million (total: $59.9 million), America Ferrera's How to Train Your Dragon with $1.9 million (total: $210.9 million), Hrithik Roshan's Kites with $958K, Alex O'Loughlin's The Back-up Plan with $942K (total: $35.8 million), and Thomas Balmes' Babies with $725K (total: $5m).

Among the top twelve movies, Shrek Forever After had by far the highest per-theater average, $16,251. The Back-up Plan had the lowest, $874.

Also among the top twelve, How to Train Your Dragon had the worst drop-off rate, down 62 percent. Date Night had lowest drop-off rate, down 23.1 percent.

Current North American totals of a few other movies: Juan Jose Campanella's The Secret in Their Eyes, $2.6m; Noomi Rapace's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, $6.2 million; Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop, $1.6m; Michael Caine's Harry Brown, $827K; Benjamin Bratt's La Mission, $725K, and Kristen Stewart's The Runaways, $3.56 million.

Photo: Shrek Forever After, DreamWorks Animation

May 23 update

Shrek Forever After, Shrek Mike Myers, Donkey Eddie Murphy
Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Kites
Shrek Forever After (top); Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Kites (bottom)

Shrek Forever After topped North America's weekend box office chart, grossing an estimated $71.25 million – at the lower end of expectations for DreamWorks Animation's $165 million production – according to figures found at Box Office Mojo.

Featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, and Jon Hamm, among others, Shrek Forever After opened at 4,359 theaters. Despite higher ticket prices and 3D/IMAX surcharges, it fared much worse than previous Shrek sequels, both of which took in more than $100 million on their debut weekends.

Starring Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2 grossed an estimated $26.6 million (down 48.9 percent from a week ago; total: $251m) at no. 2, followed by Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $18.7 million (down 48.1 percent; total $66m).

The no. 4 movie was the Amanda Seyfried-Christopher Egan romantic vehicle Letters to Juliet with a good $9.1 million on its second week (total: $27m).

Sanaa Hamri's romantic comedy Just Wright, starring Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, and Pam Grier, drew $4.22 million at no. 5. Total: $14 million.

New entry MacGruber, Jorma Taccone's comedy starring Will Forte (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Kristen Wig, and Ryan Phillippe, was the weekend's box office disaster, with only $4.1 million at 2,551 locations.

Next was Steve Carell and Tina Fey's comedy Date Night with $2.82 million. Total: $90 million.

Rounding out the top twelve were Jackie Earle Haley's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $2.28 million (total: $59.9 million), Jay Baruchel's How to Train Your Dragon with $1.85 million (total: $210.9 million), Hrithik Roshan's new entry Kites with $1.037 million, Jennifer Lopez's The Back-up Plan with $900K (total: $35.8 million), and Thomas Balmes' Babies with $700K (total: $5m).

Directed by Anurag Basu, Kites is a crime-romantic thriller starring Bollywood idol Roshan. Kites averaged a passable $4,986 at 208 theaters.

Among the top twelve movies, Shrek Forever After had by far the highest per-theater average, $16,345. The Back-up Plan had the lowest, $834.

Also among the top twelve, How to Train Your Dragon had the worst drop-off rate, 63 percent, thanks to Shrek Forever After, which took over numerous 3D locations and dominated the kiddie flick market. The strong-legged Date Night had lowest drop-off rate, down 26.1 percent.

Photo: Shrek Forever After, DreamWorks Animation; Kites, Reliance Big Pictures

May 22

Shrek Forever After, Shrek Mike Myers, Donkey Eddie Murphy
Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Kites
Shrek (Mike Myers), Donkey (Eddie Murphy), Shrek Forever After (top); Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Kites (bottom)

Shrek Forever After topped the box office chart in North America on Friday, grossing an estimated $20.75, according to Box Office Mojo.

Featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas and Julie Andrews, among others, Shrek Forever After opened at 4,359 theaters. Despite higher ticket prices and 3D/IMAX surcharges, the expected weekend total (unless there's a major attendance surge today and Sunday) is hovering around $70 million. Both previous Shrek sequels took in more than $100 million on their debut weekends.

Starring Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2 grossed an estimated $7.46 million (down 50 percent from a week ago) and is expected to reach $27 million over the weekend.

Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, collected only $5.7 million (down 56 percent from last Friday). Estimated weekend take: $17 million. Universal is lucky that its expensive period epic is doing solid business overseas.

The no. 4 movie on Friday was the Amanda Seyfried-Christopher Egan romantic vehicle Letters to Juliet with approximately $2.97 million, followed by new entry MacGruber, the weekend's bomb. Jorma Taccone's comedy starring Will Forte (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Kristen Wig, and Ryan Phillippe, took in an estimated $1.6 million on Friday and is expected to earn an embarrassingly low $4.5 million by Sunday evening at 2,551 sites.

At no. 6, Sanaa Hamri's romantic comedy Just Wright, starring Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, and Pam Grier, drew $1.34 million. Next was Steve Carell and Tina Fey's comedy Date Night with $925K.

Rounding out the top eleven were Jackie Earle Haley's A Nightmare on Elm Street with $760K, Gerard Butler's How to Train Your Dragon with $420K, new entry Kites with 340K, and Alex O'Loughlin's The Back-up Plan with $300K.

Directed by Anurag Basu, Kites is a crime-romance thriller starring Bollywood idol Hrithik Roshan. Kites average $1,635 at 208 theaters.

Among the top eleven movies, Shrek Forever After had the highest per-theater average by far, $4,760. How to Train Your Dragon – now out of numerous 3D locations thanks to Shrek – had the lowest, $240.

Also among the top eleven, Date Night had the most impressive attendance surge, 187.7 percent. Also thanks to Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon had the lowest, 18.2 percent.

Photo: Shrek Forever After, DreamWorks Animation; Kites, Reliance Big Pictures

Previous post

As expected, Shrek Forever After was the top movie on Friday in North America. Just as expected, DreamWorks Animation's latest will likely open way below the level of its predecessors despite both overall higher ticket prices and 3D/IMAX surcharges.

Featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas and Julie Andrews, among others, Shrek Forever After opened at 4,359 theaters and grossed approximately $20m, according to early, rough figures found at Deadline.com. Expected weekend total (unless there's a major attendance surge tomorrow and Sunday): $70m, which falls basically at the very lower end of expectations.

Both previous Shrek sequels took in more than $100 million on their debut weekends.

Starring Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man 2 grossed an estimated $7.8 million (down 49 percent from a week ago) and is expected to reach $27 million over the weekend.

Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, collected only $5.5 million (down 58 percent from last Friday). Estimated weekend take: $17 million.

Don't be too surprised if both Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood end up performing below those estimated figures, as was the case last weekend.

The no. 4 movie on Friday was the Amanda Seyfried romantic vehicle Letters to Juliet with approximately $3 million, followed by new entry MacGruber, the weekend's total flop.

The comedy directed by Jorma Taccone and starring Will Forte (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Kristen Wig, and Ryan Phillippe, grossed an estimated $1.6 million on Friday and is expected to earn a ridiculously low $4.5 million by Sunday evening at 2,551 locations.

Photo: DreamWorks Animation

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18 Comments to Memorial Day to Forget: Worst Box Office in Two Decades?

  1. Sia

    I'm excited for Eclipse and I plan on watching it 4 times that week !

  2. Angela

    I feel extremely offended by The Karate Kid's trailer! I don't think it presents the Chinese people fairly. I might be bais because I'm ethnic Chinese (I'm Canadian); but I think I can speak for the majority of the Chinese people that most of us don't know kungfu, nor we see it as a way to solve our problems. I really believe that Jackie Chan made a mistake in agreeing to do this movie, and I sincerely hope that this movie flops in the box office.

  3. Boo Boo

    YOU GO MYRON-A! Love you!

  4. Muhammad Talha

    prince of persia sands of time 2010 should be a big hit movie of the year, i dont know the reason that why this gross is only upto $300 million , this should be $1000 million, prince of persia sands of time 2010 is the movie of the year 2010 , awesome movie

  5. ricard

    These hollywood numbnuts never learn. Movies based on video games will NEVER make a good transition to the big screen!

  6. Philip

    Don't know where this guy gets his info but his educated guess is wrong. As of June 6 PoP just made $156,000,000 overseas and $59,000,000 in the US.

  7. Seanjay

    “Prince of Persia, The Sands of Time” was probably one of the movies which turned my disappointment other way around. To be honest when I entered the cinema I was expecting crappy story and not a lot of action. Those expectations were destroyed when the movie started to with back story to prince and then a battle scene. The battle scene was made in really awesome way and I was left pleased. Through out the whole story it was just ups and downs, they didn't leave the watcher waiting for action or any other events for long, since the action scene just kept on coming on and on. The ending was pretty interesting and it wasn't another misleading and disappointing story. I just loved it.

  8. suzycreamcheese

    I don't get what the big deal is about. Have ya SEEN the price of tickets?

  9. Desi

    That makes sense. The mom's took their brood to see shrek and now they are going to see satc 2 with their bf's and husbands. This is the type of movie that will probably build momentum and have a steady audience throughout the summer.
    Chick flicks are not like other films that make a huge splash the first weekend and then Peter out.
    It will probably make a lot of $$$ since it is less expensive to produce (95 million as opposed to pop, which cost 200 million to make) and has more longevity amongst it's target audience.

  10. Pats

    How is “MacGruber” Ryan Phillippe's? Wasn't he a supporting player…and a darn good one too. This was Will Forte and Jorma Taccone's “MacGruber.”

  11. uneek

    WELL I LIKED IT.

  12. Omololu

    this movie was the best movie i've seen in my life..very intersesting.
    i hope t does well

  13. Myron Gilley

    Shrek forever is the worst movie I have ever seen for children, took my two grandkids and walked out after 20 minutes. Dep dark and not a movie for kids or family.

  14. LeeCarl

    @zac, all false information from the producers to prop up a flop movie. Kites/Kites-Remix is the most expensive Indian movie ever at 150 crores (about $30 mil).

    http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/trade/overseas_boxoffice/index.html

    http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/trade/business_talk/index.html

    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/05/25/kites-begins-box-office-dive-in-india/

    These reports reflect fact not fiction. The movie is a big flop and distributors wil suffer major losses.

  15. zac

    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/05/25/kites-begins-box-office-dive-in-india/

    $7.1m on its debut weekend in India means “Kites” was a flop? It has apparently taken a dive and it may have performed below expectations, but its weekend numbers weren't poor (2nd ever in that country?)

    http://movies.indiatimes.com/Movies/Box-Office/Kites-first-Bollywood-film-in-US-Top-10/articleshow/5968367.cms

    According to the “India Times” piece, the worldwide take was three times that of India's.

    Other sources (re: $14m worldwide):

    Agence France Presse:
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jXJqrofR1AUxhRp_hBkbkcHn3ing

    http://www.magnamags.com/index.php/201005256267/stardust/scoop-of-the-day/hrithik-roshan-kites-fetches-14-million-dollar-in-first-weekend.html

  16. LeeCarl

    Someone gave you bad information. Kites did not gross $14 mil worldwide. It is a flop in India and overseas.

    Kites Underperforms in Overseas.

    Kites underperformed in the overseas markets. The weekend business was in the $2.60 million region (12 crore). This can be called fair business but as Kites had a huge release it is not up to the mark. The business from major markets is as follows.

    UK – £273,958 includes paid previews

    North America – $958,773

    Middle East – $450,000

    Australia – Aus $211,163

    http://www.boxofficeindia.com/overdetail.php?page=shownews&articleid=1713&nCat=overseas_report

  17. Seriously i think prince dastan should be a brown person, as its being claimed that its just like the video game. then why use a white actor as in the video game he is dark skinned ?????????????

  18. Jenn

    Hollywood is out of touch with reality. That is why so far this summer's movie season has been ice cold. Shrek 4? Bad idea. Prince of Persia is going to flop in America too. The story isn't something that the average moviegoer wants to see on Memorial Day weekend.