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Box office report: 'Shrek' dominates four new releases; 'Greek' takes second

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get-him-to-the-greekImage Credit: Glen WilsonNot a raucous rock star, a talking dog, a mutant creation nor Ashton Kutcher could save the box office this weekend. For despite their valiant efforts, Get Him to the Greek, Killers, Marmaduke and Splice had nothing on a green ogre this soft weekend at the movies. Greek got the closest to knocking Shrek off the perch he has held now for three weekends but even the Russell Brand, Jonah Hill-starring comedy came in some $8 million beneath Dreamworks Animation’s final installment of the high-grossing animated franchise. As for holdovers Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia, both films fell north of 50 percent from their opening weekend, with SATC 2 dropping off close to 60 percent for the frame. Here’s hoping that next weekend’s 80s reboot of The Karate Kid and The A-Team can do something to improve this dismal summer season.

Shrek Forever After grossed $25.3 million this frame, down 42 percent since Memorial Day weekend. The film has now earned $183 million but that pales in comparison to its past two predecessors. If the film can’t cross the original Shrek’s $267 million, it will end up being the lowest-grossing movie of the series. Get Him to the Greek earned an estimated $17.4 million in its opening weekend in theaters. From writer/director Nicholas Stoller, the R-rated comedy from Universal Pictures generated a per-theater average of $6,460 and a B from exit pollster Cinemascore. The film, budgeted at $40 million, is on track with its predecessor Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which opened to $17.7 million back in April 2008 and should hold up well for a few weeks until the Adam Sandler, Kevin James-starring comedy Grown Ups hits theaters on June 25.

Killers, featuring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher as a married couple, opened to a modest $16.1 million despite dismal reviews. Also receiving a B from Cinemascore, the PG-13 rated comedy from Lionsgate generated a per-theater average of $5,632 for a third place finish at the box office. Persia landed in the fourth spot for the weekend, earning another $13.8 million for a total cume of $59.4 million. Disney’s Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer dropped 54 percent for the frame, not a terrible fall-off considering its Sunday was elevated last weekend due to the Memorial Day holiday. Sex and the City 2 fell 59 percent for the weekend, earning $12.6 million for a total gross of $73.4 million. It’s unlikely the film, which held the fifth spot this weekend, will be able to surpass the original, which grossed $152.6 million two summers ago.

Marmaduke, highlighted by the voice cast of Owen Wilson and George Lopez, earned only $11.3 million for the weekend for a sixth place finish. The film, while ridiculed by critics, scored a decent B+ from Cinemascore, indicating that family audiences enjoyed the film based on the long-running cartoon strip. I’m still perplexed as to why the studio, Twentieth Century Fox, didn’t sell the picture harder. After all, these are the people who turned Alvin and the Chipmunks and Garfield into big successes.

Iron Man 2 earned another $7.8 million its fifth weekend in theaters. Down 53 percent for the frame, the PG-13 rated film starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, is closing in on $300 million with $291 million currently in its coffers. The R-rated Splice headlined by indie darling Sarah Polley and Academy Award-winning Adrian Brody was the lowest performing of the new releases. Earning only $7.4 million for the frame, the film — in spot eight for the weekend — generated a surprisingly poor D grade from Cinemascore. Audiences really didn’t like this film despite critical raves for what was one of Sundance’s hottest movies this past year.

Robin Hood and Letters to Juliet rounded out the top ten this weekend. The Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott re-teaming effort earned another $5.1 million putting its domestic cume at $94.3 million. For such an expensive film, barely grossing $100 million by its fourth weekend in release has got to be a disappointment for its studio. Juliet, starring Amanda Seyfried, lost another 49% of its value. From studio Summit Entertainment, the film has now grossed $43.3 million and will likely wind up being a modest hit. As the whole, the weekend was down some 24 percent compared to last year at this time when The Hangover began its wild ride, opening at almost $45 million. Hopefully next weekend will turn around the box office’s summer blues. Stay tuned…

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