‘Shrek Forever After’ Tops Weekend Box Office

Despite its first-place finish, fourth 'Shrek' installment performed well below expectations.

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 “Shrek Forever After” ($71.3 million)

#2 “Iron Man 2″ ($26.6 million)

#3 “Robin Hood” ($18.7 million)

#4 “Letters to Juliet” ($9.1 million)

#5 “Just Wright” ($4.2 million)

After last weekend’s victorious battle against Ridley Scott’s medieval epic “Robin Hood,” Jon Favreau and Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 2″ finally succumbed to a different fantasy film: “Shrek Forever After,” DreamWorks Animation’s fourth installment in the long-running animated franchise.

Despite a first-place finish worth $71.3 million, the box-office performance for “Shrek Forever After” was nowhere near as successful as many had initially expected. “Forever After” was unable to come close to the massive $121.6 million earned by “Shrek the Third” in its opening weekend in 2007, or even the $108 million debut for “Shrek 2″ in 2004. Considering the “Shrek” franchise’s name recognition, all-star talent and increased prices for 3-D ticket sales, it’s rather surprising that the DreamWorks film couldn’t make a bigger push towards resolving its $165 million budget. Indeed, “Forever After” could wind up being “The Final Chapter” after all.

Although “Shrek” certainly performed below expectations, it didn’t fall nearly as hard as Universal’s “MacGruber,” based on the “Saturday Night Live” sketch of the same name. Even with a solid cast including Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer, “MacGruber” collected a mere $4.1 million this weekend for a sixth-place finish.

Limited releases included “Kites,” the romance that made $1 million in just over 200 locations, and “Solitary Man,” which earned the weekend’s highest per-screen average at $22,250 per location.

Upcoming Releases

Moviegoers searching for an action-adventure epic should look no further than next week’s “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” But Jake Gyllenhaal’s video game movie faces fierce competition in the form of “Sex and the City 2″ starring Sarah Jessica Parker.

Check out everything we’ve got on

“Shrek
Forever After” and

“Iron
Man 2.”

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