Weekend Preview (5.21.10)


A familiar face for the month of May drops into theaters this weekend for his farewell tour. It might not be easy being green, but when you’re Shrek and DreamWorks, it’s sure easy making it. “Shrek Forever After” plans to make some more effortless cash at the box office this weekend and put Tony Stark back in his place.

More obviously, we have our first family-geared film of the early summer season. It will be interesting to watch what “Shrek” does this weekend. The big question is whether 3-D can help rejuvenate a franchise that appears to be heading down. If “Shrek Forever After” manages to outdo “Shrek the Third,” it will likely be a summer of big pay-offs for those who invested in 3-D.

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Shrek Forever After

Directed by Mike Mitchell
Written by Josh Klausner, Darren Lemke
Starring: (voices) Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas

The Word: Shrek returns for supposedly the last time. In a record fourth adventure, the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time will flip Far, Far Away on its head when Shrek signs a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to be a “normal ogre” for a day.

Rotten Tomatoes: 47% (not good)

My Thoughts: I used to love these movies as much as anyone, but after number three, even I gotta call it quits. The mixed reviews indicate fans of the franchise are finding some redeeming value in this movie. Naturally the RT Top Critics who have had to review the last three in fewer than ten years, are a little less forgiving.

Recommendation: Worth renting for the gratification of having seen all four.



Directed by Jorma Taccone
Written by Jorma Taccone, John Solomon, Will Forte
Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Val Kilmer, Ryan Phillippe

The Word: Saturday Night Live returns to the big screen for the first time in 10 years with its MacGyver knock-off, MacGruber. MacGruber is on a mission to save the world from Dieter von Cunth (Val Kilmer) who plans to nuke Washington D.C.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83% (Not Screened for Top Critics)

My Thoughts: I see some fun jokes in this movie. Judging by the plot, they’re really going to have to be funny in order to make “MacGruber” more than just a somewhat amusing flick and bring SNL back to silver screen glory for the first time since “Wayne’s World.”

Recommendation: Worth renting later for a mindless laugh.

Box Office Predictions

Things get a bit more interesting now that we’re into weekend number three for the summer. The top spot, however, is indisputable. “Shrek 2” and “Shrek the Third” are No. 12 and No. 6 respectively on the list of all-time box office weekends. I think the novelty of the franchise has certainly worn off and we’ve never seen a fourth sequel to an animated film not go straight to DVD, but it will still be a big number. Even if it’s not more than $100 million like both films, Shrek Forever After will easily finish first — my guess is about $80 million. I just don’t see this film outdoing its predecessors after the poor reception critically for the third movie.

Iron Man 2 will not drop nearly as much as it did from its first week, but since it’s still at a high number, it will appear significant. That’s how these mega-hits work. I see close to a 50 percent drop, giving Marvel and Paramount roughly $25-$28 million for weekend number three. Robin Hood should see a similar drop to about $18 million.

would have to defy a lot of history to do better than fourth. I think you can expect better-than-late-’90s numbers and there’s a distinct possibility it makes back its miniscule production budget of a reported $10 million in its first weekend. I’m going to be kind and say $12 million. Sliding them all down, this would leave Letters to Juliet with the final slot of the weekend, taking in about $7 million. “Just Wright” and “How to Train Your Dragon” won’t even come close to contending with it, regardless of the thousands of theaters I suspect Paramount will yank “Dragon” out of with Shrek coming to town.

  1. Shrek Forever After
  2. Iron Man 2
  3. Robin Hood
  4. MacGruber
  5. Letters to Juliet


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