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Prince of Persia Movie + Sex Sequel: Memorial Day Duds

Prince of Persia The Sands of Time Jake GyllenhaalPrince of Persia: The Sands of Time with Jake Gyllenhaal: Mike Newell’s movie adaptation of a popular videogame turned out to be a Memorial Day weekend box office dud.

Worst Memorial Day weekend in nearly two decades: Costly Prince of Persia movie adaptation & Sex and the City sequel flop

May 28–31 Memorial Day weekend box office: Directed by Mike Mitchell, and featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Eddie Murphy, and Julie Andrews, DreamWorks Animation’s 3D comedy fantasy Shrek Forever After remained atop the North American (U.S. and Canada only) chart over the United States’ four-day weekend, grossing $51.7 million as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com. Total after 11 days: $146.8 million.

Far less impressive were the grosses of two costly new releases: Walt Disney Pictures’ Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and New Line/Warner Bros.’ Sex and the City 2.

No Prince of Persia movie sequels in the foreseeable future

A Jerry Bruckheimer production directed by veteran Mike Newell (Enchanted April, Four Weddings and a Funeral), and starring Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, 2005), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time landed in second place with $37.8 million.

Adapted from a video game, the fantasy adventure’s per-theater average was $10,371, which wouldn’t be bad for a $50 million movie opening at 3,646 venues. But for a $200+ million production, that’s worrisome indeed. Box office pundits had been predicting a weekend take as high as – a no more than okay – $45 million.

In other words, barring a miraculous international performance, don’t expect any Prince of Persia movie sequels in the near future.

Also in the cast: Gemma Arterton, Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, 1982), Tobby Kebbell, Alfred Molina, Richard Coyle, and Ronald Pickup.

Sex and the City 2 cast membersSex and the City 2 cast members Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, and Kim Cattrall: Another Memorial Day box office dud, which goes to show that not every sequel will necessarily become a commercial hit.

Widely panned Sex and the City 2 trailing original

At no. 3, Michael Patrick King’s Sex and the City 2, which opened last Thursday, grossed $36.8 million – far below the $45 million expected over the extended Memorial Day weekend. The current domestic cume of this $100 million production is a less-than-satisfying $51 million.

For comparison’s sake: Two years ago, when movie ticket prices in the United States were about 10–15 percent lower, the original Sex and the City opened with a more-than-expected $57 million on the weekend after Memorial Day.

Looks like the generally bad reviews and/or bad word of mouth have negatively affected the box office allure of the big-budget sequel. Besides, let’s not forget that Sex and the City 2 has faced accusations of insensitivity, bigotry, hypocrisy, cultural arrogance, and, most damning of all, tediousness.

In the Sex and the City 2 cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, John Corbett, Chris Noth, Evan Handler, Oscar winner Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2008), and, as themselves, Miley Cyrus and veteran Oscar winner Liza Minnelli (Cabaret, 1972).

The international market comes to the rescue

Update: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ultimately brought in $90.8 million domestically and $245.6 million internationally. Worldwide total: $336.4 million.

Sex and the City 2 ultimately brought in $95.3 million domestically and $195.4 million internationally. Worldwide total: $290.7 million.

For comparison’s sake: The original Sex and the City brought in $152.6 million domestically and $266.1 million internationally. Worldwide total: $418.8 million. That helps to explain why there hasn’t been a Sex and the City 3.

In any case, if it weren’t for the international market, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Sex and the City 2 would have been mammoth, off-with-their-heads box office bombs. As it is, the former was a sizable (but perhaps not quite guillotine-them-all) money-loser while the latter was a commercial “disappointment.”


Prince of Persia Movie: Memorial Day” endnotes

And here’s where we note that in addition to being big-budget domestic box office underperformers, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Sex and the City 2 have something else in common: Both titles were partly shot in Morocco.

Unless otherwise noted, “Prince of Persia Movie + Sex Sequel: Memorial Day Duds” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should usually be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources.

Comments about Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Sex and the City 2, and other titles being profitable or money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).

Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, international pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses can be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is accounted for). Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take; however, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.

Jake Gyllenhaal Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie image: Walt Disney Pictures.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis Sex and the City 2 movie image: Craig Blankenhorn | New Line Cinema | Warner Bros.

Prince of Persia Movie + Sex Sequel: Memorial Day Duds” last updated in June 2022.

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6 comments

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

Reply
Josue Brackeen -

Always been a massive supporter of Sex And The City. Fab movie, thought that after such a gap it would be strange seeing our old friends again, but no as soon as the open credits kick in and you hear the familar voice over it’s like your four best friends have never been away.

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ricard -

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

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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.

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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.

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stephin -

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 ?????????????

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