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Box Office Update 5/18-5/20: Shrek the Third Leads the Way

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Shrek the Third opened to the enormous tune of $122 million in its opening frame. Now, if you want to compare, it doesn't look all that impressive next to Spider-Man 3's $151 from two weeks ago, it is likely to be outdone by next week's release of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Still, you have to step back and realize that this is the third biggest opening in history, and it is the biggest opening ever for an animated feature, besting the record of $108 million set by its predecessor, Shrek 2, back in 2004.

Something else to consider when looking at Shrek the Third's opening, is that a large portion of its tickets were sold to children, which are a cheaper ticket than adult admittance. Meaning, if all ticket prices were equal, you could very well have seen Spdey's record fall. Still, it is a fun movie that lacks much in the way of substance and is likely to see a second week drop similar to Spidey, especially in the face of the new Pirates movie.

Coming in with a solid second place finish was Spider-Man 3, whose ticket sales have seen a substantial slowdown, although it is well on its way to a finally tally north of $300 million. It dropped 50% from last week and has seen its weekend totals dip below $30 million. It is a film that also survives off the hype and spectacle and considerably less off of its actual quality.

Going down the list a little further, you will find that 28 Weeks Later has suffered a near 50% drop off in its second weekend. Something I believe had to be expected. It is the kind of movie that is going to have more of a niche appeal with the cinema-goers at large, and will likely find renewed vigor once it hits DVD. But the big drop offs are not the real story as you look down at the rest of returning films.

Disturbia continues to show strong legs with its small week to week drops. The strength that this one has shown is impressive, to say the least. It may not hit $100 million, but it has definitely hit on something that the audience likes. Similarly, Fracture has stabilized and seems to be doing decently, though probably not as well as had been hoped. Then there is the impressive, to me, showing of Hot Fuzz, the wild action film comedy/parody that comes out firing on all cylinders. It as another film with a narrow appeal that is doing more than I had expected.

All of this will change next week when we get the near 3 hours of pirates filling the cinemas, attempting to break the records again. I daresay, that more may be looking forward to this than were for Spider-Man 3.

Two films dropped from the list this week: Next (11), and Meet the Robinsons (15).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Shrek the Third $121,629,270 $122,536,609 1
2 1

Spider-Man 3

$29,022,026 $282,379,655 3
3 2 28 Weeks Later $5,454,168 $18,914,924 2
4 3 Georgia Rule $3,745,880 $12,867,455 6
5 4 Disturbia $3,731,349 $71,379,695 2
6 6

Fracture

$2,278,362 $34,530,840 5
7 5 Delta Farce $1,852,193 $6,138,105 2
8 7 The Invisible $1,300,769 $17,654,557 4
9 10 Hot Fuzz $1,291,898 $21,125,512 5
10 11 Blades of Glory $1,091,982 $115,446,583 2

Box Office Predictions Recap
Aside from my overestimations at the bottom of the list, I think I did pretty good, or was at least in the ballpark for most of my choices. I did end up a bit low on the Shrek guesstimation, but whatever way you want to slice it, we all knew that it was going to be a monster opening. I was pretty close with Spidey as well, similar to my guess for it last week. Aside from the top two, the rest of the top ten was a feeding frenzy as they all went for the leftover scraps. Next week could be even more of a spread as the third Pirates film enters the fray for Memorial Day weekend.

Anyway, here is how I picked the field:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Shrek the Third $121,629,270 $100 million
2 2 Spider-Man 3 $29,022,026 $30 million
3 3 28 Weeks Later $5,454,168 $7 million
4 4 Georgia Rule $3,745,880 $4 million
5 5

Disturbia

$3,731,349 $3 million
7 6 Delta Farce $1,852,193 $2.5 million
6 7 Fracture $2,278,362 $2 million
8 8 The Invisible $1,300,769 $2 million
15 9 Meet the Robinsons $503,975 $1.5 million
11 10 Next $1,084,974 $1 million
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