sex-and-the-city-2MONDAY AM WRITETHRU:

SATURDAY 7 AM: Stats show that 90% of the audience was women. New Line/Warner Bros says Sex and the City 2 ended Friday #1 despite horrible reviews with a big domestic box office of $13 million (-9% from Thursday’s total) for a cume already of $27.2M. That’s an estimated 4-day Memorial Weekend number — Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday — around $53M. And $67M or so for the 5-day holiday.

prince of persia posterAlso with “mediogre” reviews, DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek  4 was sitting comfortably in 2nd place because it was distributed by Paramount into 1,000+ more theaters at higher 3D ticket prices. It ended Friday with $11.3M (-45%) but that could be $50M for the 4-day holiday and estimated new cume of $149M.

Much is riding on Disney’s Prince of Persia in terms of price and prestige (a holdover from the Dick Cook administration though marketed by Rich Ross’ new one), not to mention whether Jake Gyllenhaal can open a big budget movie. But Jerry Bruckheimer’s period actioner based on the 2003 video game debuted a disappointing 3rd on Friday with about $10.3M. That should be $42M for the 4-day holiday.

Here’s the preliminary Top 10 with numbers to be refined later this morning:

1. Sex And the City 2 (NL/Warner Bros) NEW [3,445 Theaters]
Friday $13M, Estimated Weekend $53M, Estimated Cume $67M
2. Shrek Forever After (DWA/Paramount) Week 2 [4,367]
Friday $11.3M, Estimated Weekend $50M, Estimated Cume $149M 
3. Prince Of Persia (Disney) NEW [3,646]
Friday $10.3M, Estimated Weekend $42M
4. Iron Man 2 (Marvel/Paramount) Week 4 [3,804]
Friday $4.0M, Estimated Weekend $18.5M, Estimated Cume $277M
5. Robin Hood (Universal) Week 3 [3,373]
Friday $2.8M, Estimated Weekend $12.5M, Estimated Cume $85M
6. Letters to Juliet (Summit) Week 3 [2,825]
Friday $1.8M, Estimated Weekend $7.5M, Estimated Cume $38.2M
7. Just Wright (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [1,195]
Friday $595K, Estimated Weekend $2.7M, Estimated Cume $18.8M
8. Date Night (Fox) Week 8 [1,126]
Friday $502K, Estimated Weekend $1.8M, Estimated Cume $93.9M
9. MacGruber (Rogue/Universal) Week 2 [2,456]
Friday $460K (-72%), Estimated Weekend $2.0M, Estimated Cume $7.6M
10. Nightmare on Elm Street (NL/Warner Bros) Week 5 [891]
Friday $265K, Estimated Weekend $1M, Estimated Cume $62M

FRIDAY 8:20 AM UPDATE: Sources are saying Thursday gross was $14.3 million for Sex and the City 2, a strong number going into the weekend. After giving itself an extra day, Warner Bros will be looking for Friday business to stack up against the $26.7 million the original did on its opening Friday night.

FRIDAY 5:30 AM UPDATE: Sources say the Warner Bros sequel made a very strong $17.5 million on its rare Thursday opener (including $3M midnight showings in about 2,000 venues). That compares very favorably to the original’s $26.7M opening Friday as well as Indiana Jones’ pre-Memorial Weekend $25M Thursday debut. So now estimates have Sex And The City 2 earning $60+M for the 4-day weekend, and $75+M for the 5-day holiday. The original did $57M for its 3-day weekend.

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THURSDAY 8:30 AM: The midnight showing of Sex and the City 2 turned in an estimated $3 million gross. That is 20% better than the $2.5 million midnight performance of the first film. It puts Warner Bros in strong position for a strong holiday opening for the film, despite the negative reviews the film has received. The film is open today on 3,445 theaters.

The original SATC surprised the studio when it turned in $2.5 million during its midnight opening. That pic turned in a $26.7 million opening day, which set it on course for a $57 million opening weekend on 3285 screens. The sequel is expected to do at least $60 million for the weekend, with more screens.