shrek33.JPGSUNDAY AM: Shrek The Third shredded the record for 3rd biggest opening weekend of all time behind only Spider-Man 3 and Pirates Of The Caribbean 2. It also set the record for a ‘toon weekend opening with a monster $122 million Friday-to-Sunday. According to distributor Paramount, the Dreamworks Animation fairy tale starring Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz and playing in 4,122 theaters earned $38.5 million Friday for the 8th best opening day ever by a film and $47 mil Saturday for the 5th best single day gross ever. (Sunday’s figure is projected at $35.6 mil.) The threequel did way bigger box office than Shrek 2 which opened to $108 mil in 2004 in 4,223 theaters. Yet Shrek The Third‘s reviews were much worse: out of 115 reviews on RottenTomatoes.com, 65 were spoiled (aka “Shrek The Drek”). But there was pent-up demand for a fresh kiddie pic, and at only 93 minutes running time not only could theaters get in a lot of screenings but both parents and offspring could sit through the film without too much squirming. Paramount reported the movie is playing great to family and general audiences. Weather wound up a bit of a factor this weekend with rain on the East Coast. shrekpremiere.jpgBut the summer movie season is already a sizzler with records being broken left and right: not only did Shrek The Third set precedents, but so did Spider-Man 3; and this coming Memorial Weekend, Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 is expected to set records as well. All week, DreamWorks Animation and Paramount had been trying to lower expectations by saying they expected only a $90 mil Friday-to-Saturday opening. But Dreamworks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg is busy at the Cannes Film Festival downplaying talk of record ticket sales for his ‘toon. The studio finally announced it made $907K from Thursday night in supposedly “limited” release which it didn’t report. But rival studios put the number at $1M to $1.2M. Given the phenomenal box office performances of Spidey and Shrek, it’s little wonder why studios keep churning out sequels: DreamWorks Animation has already announced Shrek 4.

Still hot in second place, Sony’s Spider-Man 3 started its third weekend out with $28.5M after expanding slightly into 4,324 venues; its cume is a staggering $281.8 mil. After that, the Top 10 movie numbers look anemic. But the interesting news is that Fox Searchlight’s Sundance Film Festival pickup Waitress playing in only 116 theaters made $1.1M – good enough for 10th place. Fox Atomic’s 28 Weeks Later placed third, making $5.2M from 2,305 playdates for a new cume of $18.6M. shrek3_1.jpgUniversal’s Georgia Rule scored #4 with $3.7M from 2,531 venues and a new cume of $12.8M. DreamWorks / Paramount’s Disturbia, even at the start of its sixth weekend playing, took in another $3.6M from 2,547 theaters for 5th place. It has a new cume of $71.2M. New Line’s Fracture hangs in starting five weeks out for 6th place with $2.4M from 1,607 playdates and a new cume of $34.6M. Lionsgate’s Delta Farce limped into 7th place, making $1.8M from 1,931 theaters for a cume of $6M. Disney’s The Invisible starting its 4th week barely registered with $1.3M from 1,378 playdates for the 8th spot; its new cume is $17.6M. Focus Feature’s Hot Fuzz takes 9th making $1.2M from 973 theaters for a new cume of $21M. Chart here:

  1. 1. Shrek The Third did $38.5M Fri, $47M Sat and an est $35.6M Sun. (cume $122M)
  2. 2. Spider-Man 3 earned $8M Fri, $12.5M Sat and an est $7.9M Sun. ($281.8M)
  3. 3. 28 Weeks Later made $1.6M Fri, $2.1M Sat and an est $1.4M Sun. ($18.6M)
  4. 4. Georgia Rule earned $1.1M Fri, $1.5M Sat and an est $1M Sun. ($12.8M)
  5. 5. Disturbia took in $1.2M Fri, $1.5M Sat and an est $825K Sun. ($71.2M)
  6. 6. Fracture made $670K Fri, $1M Sat and an est $670K Sun. ($34.6M)
  7. 7. Delta Farce did $580K Fri, $775K Sat and an est $445K Sun. ($6M)
  8. 8. The Invisible earned $420K Fri, $535K Sat and an est $345K Sun. ($17.6M)
  9. 9. Hot Fuzz made $365K Fri, $525K Sat and an est $360K Sun. ($21M)
  10. 10. Waitress did $288K Fri, $485K Sat and an est $327 Sun. ($2.1M)