SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM: It’s yet another disappointing result for 2010 summer box office following such a weak Memorial Weekend, with this first June weekend’s total domestic grosses looking down -19% compared to last year’s. DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek Forever After distributed by Paramount was #1 for the weekend with the fourquel’s strong hold (thanks to more runs and higher 3D ticket prices than any newcomer). Universal’s R-rated Get Him To The Greek debuted #2 ahead of Lionsgate’s Killers, though both received only “B” Cinemascores. But the buzz on Greek was so much better than Killers, not to mention the star power: Jonah Hill and Russell Brand under mogul Judd Apatow’s production banner seemed a fresher combination than the played-out duo of Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher. As a result, I thought Greek would finish the weekend with more — not less — than the $17.7M grosses from Forgetting Sarah Marshall where Brand’s rock star character first appeared.
Fox’s Marmaduke opened on the most theaters this weekend among newcomers but performed poorly even with the Saturday kiddie matinee bounce. The Vincenzo Natali-directed Splice debuted with a terrible “D” Cinemascore — and the distinction of being arguably the biggest acquisition to ever emerge from the Sundance Film Festival, based on Dark Castle’s $35 million P&A commitment. But the movie bombed. Still, it overcame cease and desist letters from Fox lawyers worried about the genetically-manufactured creature’s similarity to the Na’vi creatures of Avatar, and then survived nearly being dumped into a SciFi Channel premiere. Warner Bros is quick to point out it’s only distributing this negative pickup by Joel Silver in the U.S. and has zero financial interest. (For background, see Mike Fleming’s The Life of ‘Splice,’ The Unlikeliest Major Studio Summer Release.)
Sex And The City 2 and Prince Of Persia sank -53% and -54% respectively their second weekend out. But Persia grossed another $37.6M overseas, putting its international cume now at $156.4m and its worldwide cume at $215.9M.
Here’s the Top Ten:
1. Shrek Forever After 3D (DWA/Par) Week 3 [4,386 Theaters]
Friday $6.5M, Saturday $10.7M, Weekend $24.3M, Estimated Cume $183M
2. Get Him To The Greek (Universal) NEW [2,697]
Friday $6.3M, Saturday $6.4M, Weekend $17.4M
3. Killers (Lionsgate) NEW [2,859]
Friday $5.6M, Saturday $6.2M, Weekend $16.1M
4. Prince of Persia (Disney) Week 2 [3,646]
Friday $4.2M, Saturday $5.7M, Weekend $13.9M (-54%), Cume $59.5M
5. Sex And The City 2 (NL/Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,445]
Friday $4.4M, Saturday $4.7M, Weekend $12.6M (-53%), Cume $73.4M
6. Marmaduke (Fox) NEW [3,213]
Friday $3.4M, Saturday $4.5M, Weekend $11.3M
7. Iron Man 2 (Marvel/Paramount) Week 5 [3,007]
Friday $2.1M, Saturday $3.4M, Weekend $7.7M, Cume $291.2M
8. Splice (Dark Castle/WB) NEW [2,450]
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $2.7M, Weekend $7.4M
9. Robin Hood (Universal) Week 4 [2,599]
Friday $1.5M, Saturday $2.3M, Weekend $5.1M, Cume $94.3M
10. Letters To Juliet (Summit) Week 4 [1,962]
Friday $954K, Saturday $1.3M, Weekend $3M, Cume $43.3M
UPDATE: By the way, Rentrak has sent out a note saying grosses were fixed now. “I think it was just a rumor from all the folks who have movies opening that wont do $20M wanting to delay the pain,” another studio exec snarked to me.
6:15 PM: I’m hearing that Rentrak suffered a hardware failure. “They are completely behind in loading data for box office grosses today,” one studio exec informs me. That means we can all go to sleep early.