Despite some middling reviews, Shrek Forever After managed to hold onto the number-one spot for the second week in a row, defeating new releases Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2 by bringing in the kids and charging extra for 3-D. Don't expect it to hang out in the Top Ten for long, though -- sure, the previous kid-friendly spot-hog, How to Train Your Dragon, is only now preparing to exit the Top Ten after 10 weeks, but between Marmaduke, The Karate Kid and Toy Story 3, the next three weeks will likely eat into Shrek's young audience, as well as the souls of any accompanying adults. (Toy Story 3 being the sure-to-be-tear-inducing exception.)
It looks like Marmaduke was less competition for the kiddie dollars than we expected, as Shrek Forever After still handily defeated all comers, moving into a few more theaters and scaring up another $25 million in ticket sales. I guess kids are no longer impressed by animals who don't have jobs? After all, why see a movie about a plain old dog when you can see a movie about a cat sword-fighter, or guinea-pig secret agents, or a mouse chef? (This may be why they're spinning Puss in Boots off into his own movie.) Maybe they should have called it Marley & Me 2: Puppy-Size Me!, and had Owen Wilson magically transform into Marley-maduke at the beginning of the film. Then it might have made $36 million in its opening weekend, like Marley, rather than the $11 million it did. Well, you know what they say: hindsight is a golden retriever. Rimshot!
Considering how well How to Train Your Dragon has been doing ($44 million opening weekend, $211 mill to date), it's no wonder that the fourth installment in the popular Shrek franchise, Shrek Forever After would do even better. After all, it has dragons and overweight cats! Adorable! That, a lack of kid-friendly competition and the money-printing combo of IMAX and 3-D helped Shrek go medieval on the box office and earn $71 million, and although that's less than the last two Shrek films did in their opening weekends, it was still enough to knock Iron Man 2's knight in shining armor out of the top spot. However, since the armored Avenger has made a quarter-billion in the U.S. and one and a half-bill world wide in only three weeks, we won't feel too sorry for him.