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. (more…)