The Top Five
#1 “Shrek the Third” ($122 million)
#2 “Spider-Man 3” ($28.5 million)
#3 “28 Weeks Later” ($5.2 million)
#4 “Disturbia” ($3.7 million)
#5 “Georgia Rule” ($3.5 million)
In this era of big box-office numbers week after ever-loving week, it’s easy to become jaded, to rein in the hyperbole because a movie failed to break more records than a Disco Demolition Night. But let us do nothing but lavish praise on “Shrek the Third,” whose fractured fairy tale put a huge dent in the weekend — even if it didn’t ultimately tear up the history books.
Which isn’t to say we’re talking “Grindhouse” money here, folks. With $122 million, the adventurous ogre can now lay claim to the third-highest weekend gross in history, behind only “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and this month’s “Spider-Man 3.” “Shrek the Third” made about 12 percent more than “Shrek 2,” and nearly three times as much as the original.
And the second film is a good model to follow. Opening at $108 million, it had, at the time, the second most successful weekend ever, behind only the original “Spider-Man.” But “Shrek 2” fell very little, recording the biggest second weekend haul in history. It wound up with $441.2 million domestically, the third largest all-time gross.
If “Shrek the Third” can come anywhere close to matching that record-setting second weekend, it will be well on its way to catching “Spider-Man 3” from behind. For the second straight week, “Spidey” plummeted over 50 percent, pulling in just $28.5 million its third week in theaters. The Amazing One’s foes aren’t getting any weaker either, with “Shrek” and soon “Pirates” to compete against. The superhero flick is on pace to be the lowest grossing of the “Spider-Man” movies.
“28 Weeks Later,” “Disturbia” and “Georgia Rule” round out this weekend’s top five.
How’d We Do?
It’s about time. After a month without a victory, our esteemed editor Josh Horowitz broke through again with the winning weekend prediction, padding his lead. But word to the wise, Joshy: picking “Shrek the Third” against, well, no competition, doesn’t get you much in our book, especially when your box-office estimate was off by over 20 percent (see ” ’Shrek The Third’ Is Destined For More Green, In Projection Booth“ ). In the end, $95 million was close enough (What were Larry and celebrity contestant Naomie Harris thinking?), but we’d just as soon award the contest to no one next time. You’ve been warned.
Prognosticator (Weeks Won)
Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor (15)
Larry Carroll, MTV News writer (9)
Celebrity guests (5)
From “Bambi” to “A Bug’s Life,” one animated film rules them all. With its monster weekend, “Shrek the Third” jumped to the very top of this list of the all-time biggest animated film openings.
#1 “Shrek the Third” ($122 million)
#2 “Shrek 2” ($108 million)
#3 “The Incredibles” ($70.5 million)
#4 “Finding Nemo” ($70.3 million)
#5 “Ice Age: The Meltdown” ($68 million)
A journey to Davy Jones’ locker? A climactic battle for control of the seas? Johnny Depp? “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” will be so huge, it’s enough to make any green — or costumed — hero cry, “Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of Tums!” The last of the great May threequels, (a convergence we’ll no doubt be telling our kids about someday), “Pirates” will sail through Memorial Day in over 4,000 theaters.
Starring Ashley Judd and directed by Oscar winner William Friedkin (“The French Connection”), “Bug” is the only other film being given a wide release.
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