“Shrek Forever After,” the fourth film in the popular DreamWorks Animation franchise, won for the second straight weekend at the box office, according to the Associated Press.
With $55.7 million over the long Memorial Day holiday, the sequel raised its 10-day domestic total to $145.5 million.
But the fourth “Shrek” movie is trailing its predecessors, opening well behind the $100-million-dollar-plus debut weekends for the second and third sequels, according to the AP.
The difference grows wider considering “Shrek Forever After” benefits from premium 3-D ticket prices, which cost a few dollars more than 2-D admissions. The 3-D screenings account for 61 percent of the movie’s revenue, while the previous “Shrek” movies only were released in 2-D format.
Many in Hollywood thought “Sex and the City 2″ would debut at No. 1. But the fashion-conscious Warner Bros. release will apparently strut only into third place, according to the AP.
Based on studio estimates Monday for the four-day weekend, Disney’s “Prince of Persia” debuted at No. 2 with $37.8 million, slightly ahead of the $37.1 million for “Sex and the City 2.”
Based on the video game, “Prince of Persia” stars Jake Gyllenhaal in an action-adventure set in medieval Persia.
Box-office analysts had expected it to finish the weekend behind “Shrek Forever After” and “Sex and the City 2.” It trailed those movies for most of the weekend, but performed well enough Monday to leap into the No. 2 spot, according to the AP.
“Sex and the City 2,” which reunites Sarah Jessica Parker and her chic co-stars from the HBO series, would have put up bigger weekend numbers, but Warner Bros. decided to give the movie a head-start by opening it Thursday, a day ahead of most new releases.
The movie took in $14.2 million on Thursday, leaving it with $51.4 million after its first five days. The first “Sex and the City” movie took in $56.8 million in its first three days in 2008.
Another sequel, “Iron Man 2,” blasted into fourth place. With a $20.6 million weekend and a domestic total of $279.2 million, Paramount’s “Iron Man 2″ is outpacing its predecessor. But Hollywood’s overall business is lagging compared to last year’s record summer revenues, according to the AP.
Ticket sales for Friday to Monday came in at about $187 million, down nearly 16 percent compared to Memorial Day weekend in 2009.
Receipts since the summer season began in early May are at $811.5 million, down just a fraction from where revenues were at a year ago. Factoring in higher ticket prices, though, admissions so far this summer are down 6.6 percent compared to last year’s, reports the AP.
Here is the Memorial Day weekend top 10 list, from the AP:
1. “Shrek Forever After,” $55.7 million.
2. “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” $37.8 million.
3. “Sex and the City 2,” $37.1 million.
4. “Iron Man 2,” $20.6 million.
5. “Robin Hood,” $13.6 million.
6. “Letters to Juliet,” $7.3 million.
7. “Just Wright,” $2.7 million.
8. “Date Night,” $2.3 million.
9. “MacGruber,” $1.9 million.
10. “How to Train Your Dragon,” $1.5 million.