‘Shrek Forever After’ Is Far, Far Ahead Of The Pack In The Sunday Box Office Report

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)

It’s game ogre for Tony Stark this weekend, as Marvel Studios’ premiere superhero franchise finally surrendered the first place spot to DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek Forever After,” the fourth installment in the fan-favorite fantasy franchise.

Despite a decisive $71.3 million first place victory, the “Shrek” sequel’s box office performance wasn’t quite as strong as many had expected. To put it in perspective, 2007’s “Shrek the Third” earned a walloping $121.6 million in its opening weekend, while “Shrek 2″ enjoyed a $108 million debut. Given the longevity of the franchise and the name talent attached to the project — not to mention the increased price for 3-D ticket sales — it’s rather surprising that “Shrek Forever After” wasn’t able to match the success of its predecessors. Perhaps this really will be “The Final Chapter” of the “Shrek” series after all.

The weekend’s biggest disappointment belonged to “MacGruber,” Universal’s adaptation of the Saturday Night Live sketch poking fun at the “MacGuyver” television series. “MacGruber,” starring an impressive line-up including Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer, managed only $4.1 million at the box office, not even cracking the top five performances. Still, with a production budget of only $10 million, “MacGruber” could still end up in the profit zone.

“Solitary Man” debuted this weekend in only four theaters but still managed to win the weekend’s highest per screen average of $22,250 per theater.

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