‘Shrek’ debut to leave others green with envy

first_imgThe big green ogre in “Shrek the Third” may not want to be king of the land Far Far Away, but he has no problem with the title of king of the box office. The latest entry in the Shrek franchise opened with ticket sales of $122.9 million over the weekend – the third-largest opening of all time and the biggest animated opening in history, according to studio estimates Sunday. The blockbuster debut comes just two weeks after “Spider-Man 3” set the opening weekend record ($151 million) and one weekend before the debut of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” which is also likely to elbow its way into the upper echelons of the box office record books. “When you have a marketplace that’s devoid of new family fare, every kid in the country got worked up into a frenzy and their families went along with them,” said box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers. “It culminated in this huge, record-breaking gross.” Dergarabedian said the adult humor peppered throughout “Shrek the Third” made it appealing to all ages. “If you attach a PG rating to an animated family film, it can cross over to an older audience with edgier content,” he said. “That’s why the `Shrek’ series has been so successful. You don’t get to $122 million with just kids.” “Shrek the Third” dislodged 2002’s “Spider-Man” for the No. 3 slot among all-time openings ($114.8 million) but fell short of surpassing last summer’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” which had a then-record debut of $135 million. Anne Globe, head of marketing for DreamWorks Animation, said the film featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas and scores of other famous names performed “really significantly beyond our expectations and we’re thrilled.” While the debut of “Shrek” relegated Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “Spider-Man 3” to a distant second place, the web-slinger added another $28.5 million to its haul in its third weekend for a domestic box office total of $281.85 million. The picture added another $49.6 million in overseas markets for an astounding worldwide total of $747 million. In a distant third place was the 20th Century Fox horror film sequel “28 Weeks Later,” which took in an estimated $5.15 million in its second weekend for a 10-day total of $18.6 million. [email protected] (818) 713-3758 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img